Reports are finally emerging from a deadly joint attack conducted by U.S. and Afghan military forces against both Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Accounts have differed, but President Trump has just been notified that it is estimated that more than 40 terrorists were killed and a weapons cache was destroyed.
The attack against the terrorist forces has been called a “precision strike,” but reports are varying on this as well. Initially, no civilians were believed to have been harmed in the attack, but that is not the case now.
However, there is still much debate as to whether the civilians were killed by our forces or by suicide vests and militants firing at civilians once the outcome became evident.
The attack itself took place during the later hours of Sunday. U.S. and Afghan forces surrounded a compound but met with significant resistance. When they were unable to penetrate the compound with boots on the ground, an airstrike was then called in.
When the dust settled, more than 40 terrorists were killed with several also being taken into custody. Military command has stated the attack and possible loss of civilian life is currently being investigated.
More Taliban Problems
Something that will surely impact future peace talks is the fact there were both Taliban and Al Qaeda forces inside the compound.
During the recently-scuttled peace talks, the Taliban had agreed to break ties with the terrorist group, but that is now clearly not the case.
There have been numerous calls to question the integrity of any deal that could be reached with the Taliban and this, coupled with the recent attack that killed a U.S. soldier, just proves Trump will need far more assurances from the Taliban and better proof that any agreements put in place will be followed.
The Taliban is also now under considerable pressure by U.S. forces, something Trump immediately increased after the peace talks faltered.
While the Taliban tried to use its attack to strengthen its negotiating position during the talks, it is quite evident who now holds the upper hand in this conflict.
Even though the Taliban has refused to negotiate with Afghanistan while U.S. forces are on the ground, Afghan leadership once again extended its hand to the Taliban to sit down and resume peace talks. The Taliban has yet to respond to the offer.