_111129949_9d049250-adeb-4519-9907-92f52c016497 Afghan battle: US conducts first air strike on Taliban since dealPicture copyright

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Taliban fighters had been celebrating the US deal earlier this week

The US army has carried out an air strike in opposition to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, simply hours after President Donald Trump mentioned he had a “excellent speak” with a pacesetter of the group.

The US signed a take care of the Taliban on Saturday aimed toward bringing peace to Afghanistan after years of battle.

However a US forces spokesman mentioned it launched an air strike on Wednesday in response to Taliban fighters attacking Afghan forces in Helmand province.

The Taliban has not commented.

It was not instantly clear if there have been any casualties.

What did the US say?

Wednesday’s strike was the primary by the US in opposition to the Taliban in 11 days, when a discount in violence settlement started between the 2 sides within the lead-up to Saturday’s pact.

In an announcement on Twitter, Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for the US Forces in Afghanistan, mentioned it was a “defensive strike” to disrupt an assault on an Afghan Nationwide Safety Forces checkpoint.

The spokesman added that the US was nonetheless “dedicated to peace” however had a duty to defend its Afghan companions. He mentioned Afghans and the US had complied with their aspect of the settlement, whereas the Taliban appeared intent on “squandering” the chance.

On Tuesday alone, he mentioned the Taliban launched 43 assaults on checkpoints belonging to Afghan forces in Helmand.

“We name on the Taliban to cease pointless assaults and uphold their commitments. As we’ve demonstrated, we are going to defend our companions when required,” he wrote.

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The Taliban has to date declined to verify or deny duty for any of the assaults.

What is the background?

On Saturday the US and the Taliban signed an “settlement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan after greater than 18 years of battle.

The US and its Nato allies agreed to withdraw all troops inside 14 months if the militants upheld the deal.

p0857c5b Afghan battle: US conducts first air strike on Taliban since deal

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Media captionThe US and the Taliban mark the signing of their settlement in Doha.

However violence surged in Afghanistan simply days after the settlement was signed, with the Taliban ending a partial truce and resuming combating with Afghan authorities troops.

Central to the obstacles dealing with the deal is a disagreement over prisoner swaps.

Underneath the accord, some 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan safety power prisoners are supposed to be exchanged by 10 March, when talks between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities are on account of begin.

However Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani mentioned on Sunday his authorities had agreed to no such launch. And on Monday the militants mentioned talks wouldn’t happen if their prisoners weren’t launched first.

Following stories of quite a few Taliban assaults on Tuesday, Mr Trump shared a cellphone name with a pacesetter of the group, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, about maintaining peace efforts on monitor.

The US president mentioned it was a “excellent speak”, whereas the Taliban mentioned Mr Trump had pledged to ask his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to speak with Mr Ghani to verify negotiations between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban went forward as deliberate.

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p075d03p Afghan battle: US conducts first air strike on Taliban since deal

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Media captionIs peace with the Taliban doable?

The Taliban have beforehand refused to barter with the Afghan authorities, so Saturday’s deal was simply with the US.

The US attacked Afghanistan in October 2001 to oust the Taliban, whom they mentioned had been harbouring Osama bin Laden and different al-Qaeda figures linked to the 9/11 assaults. The Taliban had been faraway from energy however grew to become an rebel power that by 2018 was energetic in additional than two-thirds of the nation.