Taliban Warns Against US Troops Stay Beyond September


KABUL: Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen warned the US administration of response action if their troops remain in Afghanistan beyond  the deadline announced by the US president.


With more than half the US troops departed Afghanistan, Shaheen told the Gulf Media House in an interview that the Taliban would have the right to respond if the US stays after the deadline of September 11.


“We have signed the Doha agreement, and that was negotiated with the American side for 18 months. They have agreed and committed themselves that they will withdraw from Afghanistan all their military forces, advisers, and contractors,” he said.


According to him, “I think it is a clear violation of that agreement,” saying, “If they stay here, then I think it is a kind of continuation of the occupation. They have violated and we fully have the right to react.”


Shaheen stated that the group so far has provided a safe way of exit to the foreign troops. However, he said, “We have not attacked them during their withdrawal. Even [when] they violated the May 1 full withdrawal from Afghanistan – still, we have not attacked them while we are fully capable to do that.”


US officials earlier told the media that around 650 US soldiers were expected to stay in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats after Washington pulled its forces out to end its 20-year military presence in the country.