Taliban say IS attacks will stop after US forces leave Afghanistan: Report
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, meanwhile, said that the threat at Kabul airport remains “real”, “active” and “specific.”
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has said that the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan will stop attacks by the Islamic State. In a weekend interview to AFP, he pointed out that the group will crack down on such attacks after foreign forces leave the war-torn nation.
“We hope that those Afghans who are influenced by [the] IS… will give up their operations on seeing the formation of an Islamic government in the absence of foreigners,” Mujahid was quoted as saying.
He further said that if these Afghans along with the IS “create a situation for war” and continue carrying out their operations, the “Islamic government (as the Taliban prefers to call themselves) … we will deal with them.”
This comes after the Islamic State-Khorasan group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday. “The soldiers of the caliphate targeted Kabul’s international airport with six… rockets,” reported AFP quoting a statement from the group.
The attack comes in the backdrop of a deadly explosion by the same group last week that led to over 100 fatalities, including 13 US soldiers. The deadline for US-led forces to pull out from Afghanistan is till Tuesday, which will end the nation’s longest war in its history.
Meanwhile, addressing the drone strikes carried out by the US, targeting a member of the ISIS-K in easter Afghanistan, Mujahid told AFP that there is “no permission for them [the US] to do such operations.” “Our independence must be respected,” he added.
This isn’t the first time that the Taliban blamed the presence of foreign forces for such terrorist attacks by the IS. Last week, following the blasts at the Kabul airport, Turkey’s Haberturk television quoted a Taliban official saying that the blasts occurred because of the presence of foreign forces.
“As soon as the airport situation is figured out and the foreign forces leave, we will not have such attacks anymore,” the official said.
Mujahid had also said that the attacks took place in an area “where US forces are responsible for security.” He condemned the bombing of civilians at the airport and said that the Islamic Emirate is “paying close attention to the security and protection of its people.”
As per the latest development in the matter, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Monday said that the threat at Kabul airport still remains “real”, “active”, and “specific”. “We’re in a particularly dangerous time right now,” he added, according to AFP.