US reserves the right to launch airstrikes in Afghanistan again

US's Pentagon warns Taliban 

US reserves the right to launch airstrikes in Afghanistan again

Washington: ‘The Taliban should note that the United States retains the authority to resume counterterrorism airstrikes in Afghanistan and the US will use it to its fullest,’ the US Department of Defense sternly warned. The US lawmakers, current and former military officials and intelligence officials had expressed concern over the Taliban’s terrorist policy making the United States insecure once again. Against that background, the warning issued by the US Department of Defense is noteworthy. A few days ago, US Senator Lindsay Graham warned that the US would have to deploy troops again in Afghanistan. 

पुन्हा हल्लेThe activities of terrorist organizations like the IS and Al Qaeda have increased in Afghanistan in the past few days. The Taliban sought to deny the influence of IS in Afghanistan. However, the IS militants bombed the Afghan city of Jalalabad for four consecutive days, targeting Taliban militants. The attacks killed Afghan civilians too. Also, the IS had claimed responsibility for the attacks. 

The post assigned to two bodyguards of Osama bin Laden in the Taliban cabinet has been a subject of discussion among international analysts. Military analysts have drawn attention towards the Taliban, which has come to power after two decades, continuing its collaboration with Al Qaeda. Analysts had also stated that the release of a video of Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri threatening the Western nations, precisely, at this time is also a cause for concern for international security. Analysts have warned that Al Qaeda may launch new attacks using the Afghan soil against the US and European countries. 

In such a scenario, Pentagon Press Secretary, John Kirby, warned the Taliban. Kirby said, ‘We retain all necessary authorities to execute over the horizon counterterrorism operations despite military withdrawal from Afghanistan. We remain confident in moving forward without speaking to specific rules of engagement surrounding airstrikes.’ The warning from the US Department of Defense may draw a strong reaction from the Taliban and Pakistan. This is because the US may use Pakistan airspace to launch airstrikes in Afghanistan. Pakistan does not have the nerve to deny the US permission to use its airspace. Hence, the Taliban is quite likely to target Pakistan for supporting the US airstrikes. The Taliban had even issued a threat earlier to that effect.

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