US Drones Must Stay Out of Afghan Airspace - Taliban Warns

Published September 29th, 2021 - 09:37 GMT
Taliban warns US from violating Afghan airspace
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid addresses a press conference in Kabul on September 7, 2021. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)
Taliban warned US to cease and desist from violating Afghan airspace

The Taliban has warned of consequences if the United States did not stop flying drones over Afghan airspace.

"The US has violated all international rights and laws as well as its commitments made to the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, with the operation of these drones in Afghanistan," the Taliban government’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Twitter.

“Countries, under international laws, are the sole owners of their territorial and air sovereignty. Therefore, Islamic Emirate, as the sole legal entity of Afghanistan, is the custodian of Afghanistan's land and airspace,” he explained.

"We call on all countries, especially United States, to treat Afghanistan in light of international rights, laws and commitments ... in order to prevent any negative consequences."

US officials were not immediately available to comment.

US strikes on civilians

Last month, the Taliban took over Kabul and announced an interim government in September after the US troops left the country on August 31, ending a military and diplomatic mission that began soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

On August 29, the US military targeted a humanitarian worker’s, Zamari Ahmadi, vehicle in a drone strike inside his home in Kabul. He was suspected of having ties to ISIS/Daesh-Khorasan.

On September 17, the US acknowledged that the airstrike resulted in the deaths of 10 civilians, including an aid worker and up to seven children.

“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K, or were a direct threat to US forces,” said Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie, who had earlier claimed that Ahmadi had connections with Daesh/ISIS-K.

Victims' families reject US apologies

McKenzie offered his "profound condolences" to the victims' families, and said the attack was carried out "in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport."

However, the relatives of 10 people killed in the drone strike rejected the US "condolences and apologies," calling it a war crime and demanding justice under international law.

Taliban leaders deny Daesh and al Qaeda militants are active in the country, although Daesh recently claimed responsibility for bomb attacks in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The Taliban are under pressure from the international community to renounce ties with al Qaeda, the group behind the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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