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War in Afghanistan: U.S. reacts to Taliban’s announcement of Spring Offensive

U.S. Marines in Afghanistan (Defense Department photo)

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – The U.S. had a strong reaction to an announcement from the Taliban as they announced yet another Spring Offensive in the on-going war in Afghanistan.

The Taliban issued a statement this week saying in part that they are “focused on crushing, killing, and capturing American invaders.” There have already been several deadly attacks this month in Afghanistan attributed to Taliban, including suicide attacks.

A State Department memo reads:

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks to soliders while visiting Task Force – Southwest at Camp Sharob, Helmand Province March 22, 2018. (DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

“We have seen the Taliban’s announcement of their spring offensive. The announcement affirms the Taliban’s responsibility for the insecurity that destroys the lives of thousands of Afghans each year.

“President Ghani recently extended an historic invitation for the Taliban to join a peace process, and there is no justification for the announcement of a new offensive. There is no need for a new “fighting season.” Still, the Taliban announced another campaign of senseless violence targeting the democratically elected and internationally recognized Afghan government and their fellow Afghans.

“The United States stands with the Afghan people in response to the Taliban’s announcement. We support the brave Afghan security forces who are standing against the Taliban and terrorist groups that seek to destroy Afghan society. We commend the Afghan people, who are carrying on their lives, raising families, attending universities, building businesses, preparing for elections, and strengthening their communities despite violence and continued bloodshed.

“As President Ghani recently said, the Taliban should turn their bullets and bombs into ballots. They should run for office. They should vote. We encourage Taliban leaders to return to Afghanistan from their foreign safe havens and work constructively for Afghanistan’s future. More violence will not bring peace and security to Afghanistan.”

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