Taliban Rejects U.S. Cooperation Against ISIS-K in Afghanistan
How do you feel about the Taliban rejecting U.S. cooperation against ISIS-K?
What’s the story?
- The U.S. and Taliban over the weekend held their first formal talks since the American military withdrew from Afghanistan in late August after nearly 20 years of war, and the militant group that toppled the Afghan government rejected the possibility of cooperation with the U.S. in counterterrorism efforts targeting ISIS-K.
- Defense officials had left open the possibility of U.S. cooperation with the Taliban on counterterrorism efforts against ISIS-K, which carried out the Kabul Airport terror attack that killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and at least 169 Afghans. ISIS-K has conducted other attacks against Taliban targets following the withdrawal, including a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kunduz that killed dozens of Afghans.
- A U.S. delegation led by Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director David Cohen met with senior Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar, to discuss terrorism threats, evacuations of Americans and Afghan allies who have been stranded in Taliban territory since the withdrawal concluded, and humanitarian aid. Officials told CBS News that the meeting “is not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy.”
- Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press that the group intends to fight ISIS “independently” while another Taliban official told Newsweek that the U.S. is to blame for the growth of ISIS in Afghanistan.
- In the aftermath of the Taliban’s takeover, national security officials have warned that al Qaeda ― which has close ties to the Taliban leadership ― or ISIS could reconstitute in Afghanistan within the next six to 36 months. Both terror groups harbor aspirations of attacking the U.S., although defense officials have recently assessed the immediate threat of such an attack originating from Afghanistan as being less urgent than other locations.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha / Public Domain)
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