Taliban warns US against violating its air space; US top general calls Taliban 'terrorist organization'
The Taliban has warned the United States against violating its air space and said if it did not stop flying drones over Afghan airspace there would be consequences
The Taliban has warned the United States against violating its air space and said if it did not stop flying drones over Afghan airspace there would be consequences. US officials had earlier claimed they would continue their over-the-horizon mission to target any potential threat emanating from the country.
"The U.S. has violated all international rights and laws as well as its commitments made to the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, with the operation of these drones in Afghanistan," the Taliban said on Wednesday in a statement released on Twitter.
The group further added, "We call on all countries, especially (the) United States, to treat Afghanistan in light of international rights, laws, and commitments ... in order to prevent any negative consequences."
On the same evening the US top military officer General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that there is “a very real possibility” that al-Qaida or the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate could reconstitute in Afghanistan under Taliban rule and present a terrorist threat to the United States in the next 12 to 36 months.
The remark came during a televised hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee of US top military officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Both Republican and Democrat members grilled them on Afghanistan.
Milley termed the Afghan war a “strategic failure,”. In the same hearing, General Mckenzie, the head of CentComm, said, “I also had a view that the withdrawal of those forces would lead inevitably to the collapse of the Afghan military forces and eventually the Afghan government.”
The Taliban stormed into Kabul on 15 August after most U.S. and NATO forces left, ending the military and diplomatic mission that began soon after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Significantly, General Milley also said, “We must remember that the Taliban was and remains a terrorist organization and they still have not broken ties with al-Qaida,” Milley said, adding that the Taliban hasn’t kept its promises under the Doha accord.
“I have no illusions who we are dealing with,” he said in the hearing. “It remains to be seen whether or not the Taliban can consolidate power or if the country will further fracture into civil war.”