Statement comes in wake of Obama’s announcement to delay withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD: In a spiteful reaction to US President Barrack Obama’s announcement to delay the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban vowed on Friday to carry out intense attacks on American targets in the war-ravaged country.
Obama had announced on Thursday his plan to keep a minimum of 5,500 US troops in Afghanistan throughout 2017, and to maintain the current 9,800 soldiers throughout 2016.
“We urge our mujahideen (Taliban fighters) to devise plans to particularly hit American installations and related targets (in Afghanistan) and bring severity in such attacks,” a Pashto-language statement from the Taliban leadership council said, adding Obama’s decision will not stop the Taliban from furthering their “fast-moving ‘jihad’ (holy war) against occupation forces in Afghanistan”.
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In his speech, President Obama defended his plan, saying the Afghan security forces are still not as strong as they need to be. He further claimed that “the security situation is still very fragile, and in some places there is a risk of deterioration”.
Following the speech of the US president, the Afghan government, which had earlier insisted on the longer stay of the invading troops, welcomed Obama’s announcement. However, the Taliban claimed the US president has tried to give a boost to frustrated Afghan leaders.
“If Obama has made this illogical decision because of the panic-stricken Kabul administration or because of any other compulsions, this will never end in favour of Afghanistan and the US will keep suffering blows to its interests. We urge our mujahideen to particularly hit American targets, their centres and related bases and make special plans with more power and intensity,” the Taliban said.
The statement further added that the Taliban had repeatedly claimed that the US troops would not end the invasion of Afghanistan and their “fake promises” were aimed at misleading Afghan and American people.
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“The American policy and insistence of their officials would provoke sensitivity in the region and among our people and when attacks increase on US invaders and their casualties rise and their expenditure for the useless and illogical war increases, they themselves would change their brutal policy,” it said.
The statement went on to add: “The invaders could not win the Afghan war despite hundreds of thousands of troops and their belief to win the war with 5,500 is only a misplaced thinking.”