Afghanistan Sees Retaliatory Violence After Military Goes On the Offense


Yesterday we put out an article on a couple of recent attacks in Afghanistan and the government's response to them. If you didn't read it I suggest checking it out. In short, Afghanistan's President ordered the military back into an offensive posture in the aftermath of the attacks which led to the combined deaths of at least 56 civilians.

Afghanistan's Vice President, Amrullah Saleh, rejected US claims that ISIS was responsible for Tuesday's assault on a maternity ward in Kabul, instead placing blame on the Taliban. That attack led to the deaths of at least 24 people; doctors, mothers, and two newborns among them. US claims come mainly from Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, who is credited with orchestrating a "peace deal" between the US and the Taliban. I use quotations because US airstrikes on Taliban positions and fighters have been conducted in defensive of Afghan forces since the peace deal went into effect. Now, let me reel it back in before I go off on a tangent: Khalilzad blamed ISIS for the maternity ward attack because, in his words, the group opposes any deal involving the Taliban and seeks to start a sectarian war similar to what we saw in Iraq. VP Saleh's rejection of the claims comes after President Asraf Ghani ordered Afghan forces into the offense. 

The Taliban has already responded to this order with retalitory strikes. Yesterday, a truck bomb near a military court in the city of Gardez killed at least five and injured 14, all civilians. The Taliban explicitly confirmed that this was their response to being blamed for the maternity ward attack. The group also said the Kabul assault was "despicable", before they bombed a bunch of civilians (I'll let you ponder that logic). Lastly, earlier today Taliban fighters ambushed a group of Afghan soldiers. Three ANA soldiers and five Taliban fighters were killed.

Peace in Afghanistan is nothing more than a pipe dream. Stay safe and have a good one,

Brodie


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