US abandons Afghanistan peace talks after devastating Taliban operation
The United States has withdrawn from what seemed to be a historic and highly promising peace deal for Afghanistan that would have seen a reduction of American military forces in the country.
The decision to abandon talks with the Taliban was made at the highest level of the US leadership – that being President Donald Trump himself.
Speaking over his official Twitter account, President Trump said that his decision to withdraw the United States from negotiations with the Taliban came after the group carried out a major bombing operation in the Kabul area that targeted a diplomatic personnel housing area among other things.
“They [the Taliban] admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?,” a seemingly shocked and disappointed Trump tweeted.
The Taliban attack in question struck an area that was protected by international forces; the result saw the death of both a US soldier and a Romanian soldier in addition to 10 civilians killed.
Indeed, the recent Kabul bombing aside, the Taliban has in the last eight days been conducting a series of major offensive operations in northern Afghanistan, namely around the strategic city of Kunduz.
Analysts believe that these operations by the Taliban were being undertaken so that the group could gain additional bargaining power at the negotiation table.
Even if this is the reason, President Trump (who also believes this to be the case) says that the Kabul attack has now “only made [the Taliban’s bargaining position] worse”.