U.S. military launches airstrikes against Taliban as Afghanistan ceasefire ends

The Taliban had announced a surprise three-day ceasefire with Afghan forces that ended on May 26

The Taliban had announced a surprise three-day ceasefire with Afghan forces that ended on May 26

The Taliban hasn't attacked US forces since the deal was made, but fighters have been launching attacks on Afghan forces, according to The Hill.

The Taliban have largely refrained from launching major attacks on Afghan cities since the deal was signed, but have continued to target Afghan forces.

The two sets of air strikes took place on June 4-5 in two different Afghan provinces, military spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett said.

The US conducted its first airstrikes against the Taliban since a rare ceasefire between the insurgents and Afghan forces ended more than a week ago.

US officials had repeatedly called on the Taliban to curb their attacks in the almost three months between the signing ceremony and the Eid truce.

Hopes that the three-day holiday armistice would last were short-lived.

Under the agreement, which excluded the Afghan government, Washington and the militants said they would refrain from attacking each other.

Since the signing of the US-Taliban peace agreement at the end of February, US forces have only once before announced a strike against the Taliban, in defence of Afghan forces.

However, the Pentagon last month said it would continue to conduct defensive strikes against the Taliban when they attack Afghan partners.

The Trump administration inked a deal with the Taliban in February that stated the USA military would reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 by mid-July.

The February will see all United States and foreign forces quit Afghanistan over the next year. But those talks have been stymied by disagreements over a prisoner swap, rising violence and political infighting in Kabul.

While the Taliban have largely held off on attacking foreign troops since February, restraint Pentagon officials have said is likely meant to preserve the deal, it's unclear how often USA aircraft have aided Afghan forces in that time. These were the first US strikes following a brief cease-fire declared by the insurgents for a major Muslim holiday last month.

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