The Taliban threatens the U.S. with “consequences” if drone strikes target ISIS.
The Taliban has refused to cooperate with the United States in combating the resurgence of Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan. Taliban leadership on Sunday rejected any U.S. assistance in combat against ISIS as President Joe Biden’s administration holds first in-person talks with Afghanistan’s ruling terrorist militia since it took power nearly two months ago.
The Taliban’s refusal to allow the U.S. to target the ISIS in Afghanistan comes amid a series of deadly suicide attacks by the terrorist group across the country. The Islamic State in Khorasan, or ISIS-K, as the Afghanistan chapter of the jihadi group is known, has also taken responsibility for the August 26 suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. soldiers and 169 Afghan civilians.
Last month, The Taliban threatened the U.S. with “consequences” if counter-terrorism drone strikes were carried out on the Afghan soil. This prevents the Biden administration from going after the ISIS plotters behind the Kabul airport attack. “We will hunt you down and make you pay,” President Biden had vowed following the terrorist attack.
The Associated Press reported the Taliban’s refusal to allow strikes against ISIS targets:
The Taliban on Saturday ruled out cooperation with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, staking out an uncompromising position on a key issue ahead of the first direct talks between the former foes since America withdrew from the country in August.
Senior Taliban officials and U.S. representatives are meeting this weekend in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Officials from both sides have said issues include reining in extremist groups and the evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from the country. The Taliban have signaled flexibility on evacuations.
However, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press there would be no cooperation with Washington on containing the increasingly active Islamic State group in Afghanistan. IS has taken responsibility for a number of recent attacks, including a suicide bombing Friday that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims and wounded dozens as they prayed in a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz.
The Taliban, despite being seen as a rival to ISIS, has ties to the fellow Islamic terrorist outfit. As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, it released hundreds of ISIS fighters detained by the U.S. and the Afghan government. Top ISIS leaders were among those freed from the Bagram detention center and Kabul’s Afghan national prison. “Bagram prison contained the 5,000 ‘highest value’ Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters captured on the battlefield,” The Times of London reported.
The Taliban may publicly portray the Afghan ISIS as their rivals, but they both adhere to the same jihadist ideology. Both terrorist outfits believe in global Islamist domination through the means of jihad warfare.
The Taliban’s takeover of power in Afghanistan has been welcomed by jihadi groups across the Muslim world. Al Qaeda, Gaza-based Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have cheered their victory.
The newly-formed Taliban’s Islamic Emirate leadership comprises many Islamists with ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist group. Taliban’s Interior Minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $10 million bounty on his head.DONATE
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