As the long-running peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S. seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough, Taliban terror attacks took more lives.
At least one American soldier, one Romanian soldier, and a number of civilians were killed in three separate suicide bombings in Afghanistan on Thursday, Newsweek reported.
A strong response from the White House was not long in coming. After hearing the news, President Donald Trump said he has suspended peace talks and canceled a scheduled secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghan leaders.
“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Trump said in a series of tweets late Saturday.
Taliban claims responsibility
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, basically spitting in the face of the peace delegation working on the agreement.
In an all-out war, casualties will happen during peace negotiations. However, carrying out suicide bomber attacks and putting civilians at risk while trying to negotiate peace is completely unnecessary.
That is exactly what the Taliban is doing, though.
In Thursday’s attacks, in addition to the casualties, at least nine U.S. troops and several civilians were injured.
In previous instances, U.S. officials have insisted that violence would not get in the way of a peace agreement being put in place. In fact, U.S. officials said on Monday the two sides have an “agreement in principle” that has not yet been finalized.
One key aspect of the deal has been a definitive schedule of U.S. troop withdrawal — the Taliban insists that it will not even begin to negotiate until that schedule is in place. Despite this, U.S. officials have said in the past that Afghanistan will not be left alone to fend for itself.
It was widely believed the U.S. would be permitted to keep some resources in place, more than likely intelligence assets, to monitor the situation and ensure that ISIS does not gain a stronghold in Afghanistan again.
With the latest developments, however, that could all be up in the air again.