Taliban warns US over violation of Afghan air space

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- AUGUST 30, 2021: Relatives and neighbors of the Ahmadi family gathered around the incinerated husk of a vehicle targeted and hit earlier Sunday afternoon by an American drone strike, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)

The Taliban have warned the United States over a violation of Afghanistan’s air space in a statement on Tuesday.

A senior spokesman for the Taliban government, Zabiullah Mujahid, said in the statement that recently US drones have entered Afghanistan’s air space, which goes against all the commitments the US made in Doha, and all other international rules.

Zabiullah denounced the violation of the country’s territorial integrity and asked the US in the statement to have mutual respect towards Afghanistan so that any “bad consequences” for the US may be prevented in the future.

During the US presence in Afghanistan in the past 20 years, drones were one of the major tools of war used to gather intelligence about the Taliban’s activities and hide-outs. Their use had largely kept the militants at bay.

However, the use of drones did not always achieve the desired goals, as they caused civilian casualties from time to time.

The apparently last US drone strike in Afghanistan, which took place on August 29 in the capital city of Kabul, left 10 civilians dead, all members of the same family, including a 2-year-old child.

The drone was supposed to hunt down a member of Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K), but investigations later found the deceased man was not an Islamic State fighter, but an aid worker.

While the US military apologized over the incident, experts say the incident proved how hard it has become for the US to observe and target potential terrorist threats in Afghanistan.

©2021 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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