Taliban Continue To Ignore The Will Of Afghans: Butler

A US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Dave Butler says that the opportunity has been provided for peace in Afghanistan but added that the Taliban continue to ignore the will of the people, referring to the announcement of the so-called spring offensive by the group.  

“The opportunity for peace is now. We are ready for peace, the Afghan security forces are ready for peace, but the Taliban continue to ignore the will of the people,” Butler told.

He said the Afghan forces are doing a good job and that they have the support of the US and NATO forces with them.

“The Afghan security forces are doing a very very good job. They are on the offensive, they are getting off the check-points and they are fighting against the Taliban, they are moving against the Taliban. And we do support them with our training, we support them on the ground and we support them with airstrikes,” Butler added.

Statistics by the Resolute Support Mission (RS) in Afghanistan show that in the first three months of this year, foreign forces have carried out over 1,000 airstrikes in support of Afghan forces.

Meanwhile, US and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller in a security meeting with acting ministers of Defense and Interior Affairs as well as local officials in Kandahar discussed security situation in the province.

Miller told Kandahar officials that they are continuing their efforts to reduce civilian casualties in operations and battles.

“We strive for precision in all of our operations. The best way to end the suffering of non-combatants is to end the fighting through an agreed-upon reduction in violence on all sides,” Miller said.

Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid said the Afghan National Army is on the offensive.

“They (foreign forces) are supporting us whenever need it during our operations and this support will continue. Right now, we have joint operations in different parts of the country,” Khalid said.

President Ashraf Ghani, who addressed the inauguration of the parliament on Friday, said the war in Afghanistan has been imposed on Afghans from outside and that the Taliban is fueling the war by direct foreign support.

“We all know that our country is facing with big security problems and these problems originate from imposed war and direct intervention from outside in financing and equipping the Taliban and other insurgent groups,” Ghani said.

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