Taliban warns all foreign forces must leave by September deadline

July 6, 2021 - 7:50

Speaking to British media, a spokesman says military troops or military contractors risk being considered as occupiers.

Suhail Shaheen says ‘if [Western powers] leave behind their forces against the Doha agreement, we would react and the final decision is with our leadership’. Shaheen says the Taliban will not pose any threat to NGOs, diplomats, or foreign civilian contractors providing services to the country.

There has been an increase in violence in Afghanistan recently amid territorial gains made by the Taliban. However, Shaheen dismissed allegations that the Taliban had played any part in the violence. He says many districts had fallen to the Taliban through mediation after government forces refused to engage in battle. Reports indicate this account is similar to that of the government.

The Taliban spokesman says capturing Kabul was not ‘Taliban policy’.

The Afghan government says the group should now sign a ceasefire agreement to prove they are committed to peace. Over the past week, reports have emerged that 1,000 (mainly U.S.) troops might remain in the country to protect the American embassy and Kabul international airport.