The Taliban militia has told all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan by the end of September in line with NATO’s deadline, warning that failure to withdraw will be a big risk.
The warning came on Sunday amid reports that 1,000 US troops could remain on the ground to protect diplomatic missions and Kabul’s international airport after NATO’s 20-year military mission in Afghanistan effectively ends by the deadline.
US President, Joe Biden had also set a deadline of 11 September, the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the US, for American troops to fully withdraw, but reports suggest the pullout may be complete within days.
As Afghan forces prepare to take charge of security alone, concern is growing for the future of Kabul, Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said seizing Kabul militarily was “not Taliban policy”.
He added that no foreign forces, including military contractors, should remain in the city after the withdrawal was complete.
“If they leave behind their forces against the Doha agreement then in that case it will be the decision of our leadership how we proceed.
“We would react and the final decision is with our leadership.
“We are against the foreign military forces, not diplomats, NGOs and workers and NGOs functioning and embassies functioning – that is something our people need. We will not pose any threat to them,” he said.
By Isaac Dachen…
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