The Taliban welcomed the latest withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan with the insurgents’ spokesman Saturday calling the continued reduction of American forces a “good advancement” even as fighting raged across the war-weary country.
The Taliban’s statement came just hours after the Pentagon announced it had cut troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500, their lowest numbers during the nearly two decades of fighting.
Washington struck a deal with the Taliban in Qatar last year to begin withdrawing its troops in return for security guarantees from the militants and a commitment to peace talks with Kabul. Those talks are ongoing, but have stalled amid violence and allegations of slow progress.
Meanwhile the Taliban has continued its lethal assaults on Afghan security forces and civilians alike. “The withdrawal of other US forces from Afghanistan, which was announced by the US yesterday, is a good advancement and practical measure,” tweeted Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem.
“Undoubtedly, the practice of the agreement signed between the IEA and the US is in the benefit of both countries and nations,” he added, referring to the Taliban’s official acronym.