The United States rejects Taliban accusations of violating the peace deal between the two sides signed earlier this year in Doha, US Forces in Afghanistan Spokesman Sonny Leggett said on Sunday, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Earlier in the day, the Taliban movement accused the US forces of breaching the non-aggression pact between the two sides by carrying out airstrikes on Taliban positions in Afghanistan’s south and west.
“We categorically reject the Taliban's claim the United States has violated the U.S.-Taliban Agreement. U.S. airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] as they are being attacked by the Taliban,” Leggett tweeted on Sunday, adding that these strikes were consistent with the framework of the deal.
The spokesman reiterated the call for all sides to reduce violence and allow the political process to take hold.
Combat in the Helmand province has seen an uptick in recent weeks, with hundreds of Taliban fighters reportedly killed in battles against Afghan government forces and US airstrikes. Dozens of civilians have also fallen victim to the violence and thousands more have been forced to flee their homes.
The peace process agreement was signed between the US and Taliban on February 29, 2020, and provided for a cessation of hostilities between the two sides and a gradual drawdown of US troops in the country.