The deadline for US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan actually expired on May 1. In recent weeks, the country has been hit by a number of deadly terrorist attacks. It slapped back this weekend.
On April 13, President Biden called on US forces, including other parts of NATO, to Leaving Afghanistan By September 11 – four months after the original deal with the Taliban.
In an interview with VG Norwegian Defense Chief Eric Christopherson has warned that both the Taliban and IS could step up their operations in the near future.
Several recent incidents confirm Christopherson’s fear of further escalation of the conflict. Last Friday 24 civilians were killed and 110 were injured Car bombing in Logar province, Afghanistan.
Updated figures from Reuters confirm the escalating tensions between the Taliban and Afghan security forces following the US decision: In the past two weeks alone, more than a hundred Afghan security forces have been killed in Taliban attacks.
Friday Two Afghan soldiers were killed and 18 wounded Troops from the United States and other NATO countries are stationed behind a bomb blast at a military base at Baghram Airport, north of Kabul.
Here again, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban had previously said it would attack foreign forces in a NATO-led coalition if foreign troops did not leave by May 1.
It is now feared that Friday’s attack on what should actually be the last day for US forces on Afghan soil is a reaction to the breach of the US agreement and the beginning of a new phase for the country.
The Taliban may have changed tactics
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a guest house in the provincial capital, Pul-e-Alam. The attack comes just as most people were breaking their fast during the month of Ramadan.
The NDP writes that the blast left many trapped under collapsed houses. A hospital was attacked and eleven health workers and several patients were injured, said Rasul Gul Samar, head of the provincial health authorities.
The dead included women, children and numerous students. Despite the country’s president blaming the Taliban, there has been silence from the movement.
Christian Berg Harbwigen, a Prio researcher and Afghan expert, did not believe the Taliban would always be held responsible for the attack.
He has been closely following advances in recent days, not denying that yesterday’s attacks can be seen in relation to the latest move by the US.
– When you first think it becomes clear that it is connected with extraction. At the same time, the Taliban have not carried out nearly as many major terrorist attacks in the last two years. It’s a little surprising that this is happening now. Harbwigen says this could signal that they are changing tactics.
– This is not the only thing that has happened in the last 24 hours. Afghan Dolo News Reports He added that 30 Afghan soldiers had gone missing after a Taliban attack on an army post in Kasni on Friday night.
Can increase terrorism against civilians
The Prio researcher believes that the growth over the past two weeks, in parallel with the US and NATO withdrawal, has created fears of what will happen in the near future.
– Fear is what you will see the resurgence of terrorism affecting the public. Over the past year, we have seen targeted executions that have created numerous fears. This led to many people leaving the country, Harbwigan explains.
So he believes there are two key questions today:
– Will the Taliban direct weapons at international forces? He asks, more:
According to the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, international forces must leave today. The Taliban have said they will fight them. At the same time, there are many good reasons why this is not so clever for them, and they should allow the extraction to take place quietly.
The second question he raises is whether the war against the current government will escalate.
– Do you get a resurgence of major terrorist attacks? This is the third type. There is every reason to worry so much about it. Many civilians have already been affected by the war between the government and the Taliban.
Not sure about the US position
In Afghanistan, the radical Islamist group IS has been active in recent months. Among other things, they are responsible for many terrorist attacks and assassinations.
Although the magnitude of the conflict should increase while the Americans are still on Afghan soil, Harvwicken does not believe it would be appropriate for the United States to change or alter the withdrawal.
– The United States has decided. No one can challenge this. I think it is unlikely that the extraction will be reversed, but rather it will be completed before September 11, says Prio researcher:
– One question is whether US forces will remain neutral if a critical situation arises for Afghan government forces. Will they step in or not? Government offices in Kabul are probably wondering now.