The US State Department has revealed that the Taliban have said they will start their Spring offensive.
According to the department’s statement, “the announcement affirms the Taliban’s responsibility for the insecurity that destroys the lives of thousands of Afghans each year.”
The President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ghani, has recently extended an invitation to the Taliban to join a peace process.
However, the Taliban have announced the campaign targeting the Afghan government regardless.
The statement released by the US State Department reads:
“The United States stands with the Afghan people in response to the Taliban’s announcement.
“We support the brave Afghan security forces who are standing against the Taliban and terrorist groups that seek to destroy Afghan society.
“We commend the Afghan people, who are carrying on their lives, raising families, attending universities, building businesses, preparing for elections, and strengthening their communities despite violence and continued bloodshed.”
President Ghani recently encouraged the Taliban to “turn their bullets and bombs into ballots” by running for office and voting for the changes they wish to see.
He added that Taliban leaders should return to Afghanistan and work constructively for Afghanistan’s future.
The UK is still operating in Afghanistan as part of Operation Toral, with the number of deployed personnel standing at about 650.
The Government has increased troop levels on three occasions since 2016, most recently in November 2017.
UK forces have two major tasks: training and mentoring thAfghan Forces, and providing force protection for NATO advisors via the Kabul Security Force/Kabul Protection Unit.
Two British personnel have died while deployed on Op Toral, in a helicopter crash in October 2015.