Taliban Says It Will Fight U.S. Forces Again If They Miss Pullout Deadline

Afghanistan’s Taliban said it would resume fighting against American or other foreign forces if the U.S. misses the May 1 troop withdrawal deadline agreed in a peace deal last year.

“If, God forbid, all foreign troops do not withdraw from Afghanistan on the specified date in line with the Doha agreement, undoubtedly, it will be considered a violation of the accord by America,” Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem wrote on Twitter. The Taliban would then “be compelled to defend its religion and homeland and continue its Jihad and armed struggle against foreign forces to liberate its country.”

The Taliban’s warning comes after U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters Thursday that it would be “hard” to meet the deadline though he “can’t picture” troops remaining in the war-ravaged country by next year.

The former administration of President Donald Trump finalized the agreement with the Taliban in February last year in exchange for security guarantees. Following the deal, the Taliban stopped attacking U.S. forces. Biden has also promised to end the 20-year war in Afghanistan but says he wants to review the agreement.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.