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World

Taliban praise U.S troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

  • The Taliban welcomed the expedited withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan, calling the continued reduction of American forces a "good advancement" even as fighting rages across the war-torn country.
  • The Taliban's statement came just a few hours after the Pentagon announced that it had reduced troop levels in Afghanistan down to 2500, the lowest after nearly two decades of fighting.
Updated 16 Jan, 2021

The Taliban welcomed the expedited withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan, calling the continued reduction of American forces a "good advancement" even as fighting rages across the war-torn country.

The Taliban's statement came just a few hours after the Pentagon announced that it had reduced troop levels in Afghanistan down to 2500, the lowest after nearly two decades of fighting.

Washington struck a deal with the Taliban in Qatar last year, agreeing to withdraw troops in exchange for security guarantees from the militants and a commitment to engaging in peace negotiations with Kabul.

Talks between the Taliban and the Kabul-led government are still ongoing, but have stalled due to an uptick in violence across the country, with the Taliban continuing its lethal assaults on Afghan security forces and civilians alike.

Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Naeem, in a statement, mentioned that "The withdrawal of other US forces from Afghanistan, which was announced by the US yesterday, is a good advancement and practical measure", adding that "Undoubtedly, the practice of the agreement signed between the IEA and the US is in the benefit of both countries and nations".

Outgoing President Donald Trump, seeking to fulfil a campaign promise to end the US wars launched in Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, had ordered force levels to be reduced in both countries to that level by January 15; despite initial pushback from the Pentagon.

Both the Taliban and the Afghan government are anxiously eyeing the arrival of President-elect Joe Biden in Washington and any new policy directions that might be implemented by the incoming administration.

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