KABUL: General Scott Miller, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, has said that they were closely monitoring what the Taliban will do following the three-day Eid ceasefire that ended at midnight on Saturday, stressing the Taliban would increase violence after the truce.
“Ideally, they will continue with the decreased violence because it is something that the Afghan people want,” Miller said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday. “However, the expectation is that they will pick up violence in the nearer term.”
He also noted that the Taliban would intensify pressure on various provincial capitals, “But now is time for Afghan security forces to stand on their own and protect from their territory.” He added that Afghan forces had the potential to keep the Taliban at bay.
In the meantime, he reiterated that even after their withdrawal, coalition forces would continue to assist Afghan security forces.
The withdrawal of about 10,000 US and NATO forces and 20 years’ worth of military equipment began on May 1 and is scheduled to be completed by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.