On September 29, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban and Deputy Minister of Information and Culture in the group’s Interim Government, said that US drones continue to violate the airspace of Afghanistan.
“It has recently acted in violation of all international law and the US commitments to the Islamic Emirate in Doha, Qatar, and Afghanistan’s sacred airspace is being occupied by US drones.” Mujahid wrote on Twitter. “These violations must be corrected and prevented.”
Mujahid went on to call all countries, especially the US, to respect international laws and avoid violating the airspace of Afghanistan.
The US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 30. Nevertheless, officials in Washington continue to talk about “over-the-horizon” counter-terrorism operations in the country, which is now ruled by the Taliban.
US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said on September 25 that the US does not have to cooperate with the Taliban in order to conduct such operations in Afghanistan. The spokesman also doubted that the Afghan group’s approval will be needed in the future.
“We retain all necessary authorities to execute over the horizon counterterrorism operations and we remain confident in these capabilities moving forward without speaking to specific rules of engagement surrounding airstrikes,” Kirby said.
Currently, the main foe of the US in Afghanistan is ISIS-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K). The terrorist group was behind the August 26 Kabul airport suicide attack which claimed the lives of 182 people including 13 US service members.
As for now, the Taliban can’t do anything to hinder the US freedom of operation in Afghanistan’s airspace. This situation may change later, especially if the group’s government managed to secure international recognition.
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