Taliban Announces Spring Offensive, Primary Target 'American Invaders' In Afghanistan

| April 26 , 2018 , 10:32 IST

The Taliban militant group on Wednesday formally announced the start of its annual spring offensive, dismissing offers of peace talks by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. The militant group specified that its 'primary target' are the US forces in war-torn Afghanistan.

The statement issued by the Taliban on Wednesday rejected Afghan President Ghani's offer made in February for peace talks 'without preconditions' as the militant group dismissed the peaceful overtures as a 'conspiracy'.

“Their main effort is to deviate public opinion from the illegitimate foreign occupation of the country, as the Americans have no serious or sincere intentions of bringing the war to an end,” the Taliban said.

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Announcing their Spring offensive, the Taliban said their campaign was a response to more aggressive US military strategy adopted last year.

“Its primary target will be the American invaders and their intelligence agents. Their internal supporters will be dealt with as a secondary target,” the Taliban said.

The announcement of the Al Khandaq campaign marks the symbolic start of the fighting season although heavy fighting has been going on in different parts of Afghanistan, with several high profile attacks in the capital of Kabul.

The Al Khandaq campaign is named after the 'Battle of the Trench' fought by Prophet Mohammad to defend the city of Medina in the early days of Islam.

John Sullivan, the acting US Secretary of State said that the Taliban announcement underscored the group’s “responsibility for the insecurity that destroys the lives of thousands of Afghans each year.”

 “There is no need for a new ‘fighting season’,” he said, adding “Still, the Taliban announced another campaign of senseless violence targeting the democratically elected and internationally recognized Afghan government and their fellow Afghans."