Taliban fighters are presently involved in offensives against the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) across the country, and already have a dominating presence in 24 of the 34 provinces. The escalating violence by the Taliban comes as the US-led foreign troops accelerate their withdrawal from the insurgency-ravaged country.
The Taliban on Wednesday warned Turkey not to keep its forces in war-ravaged Afghanistan, as it accused the “US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)” allies of reneging on last year’s commitment to withdraw foreign troops from the nation.
The statement, in the local Dari language, expressed concerns that under the pretext of guarding Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, NATO forces wanted to turn Afghanistan into a “playground for regional rivals”.
The strongly worded Taliban statement comes after Turkey’s defence minister Hulusi Akar offered to station 500 Turkish troops at Kabul’s international airport to secure the facility once the US-led troops exit the south Asian nation. The offer was made on Monday at the NATO Summit in Brussels, which was also attended by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden.
AFP 2021 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Joe Biden (R) attend a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…