The US military launched its second strike against the Islamic State’s network in northern Somalia in the past two weeks.
The Taliban has consistently refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, and said the composition of the delegation to Doha indicates that it represents the Afghan government.
Unlike previous years, the Taliban does not prioritize attacks on US and NATO forces, but instead sets its crosshairs on those working for the Afghan government, military, and police. The statement is yet another clear indication that the Taliban will not share power with the Afghan government, but instead seeks to impose its will on the country.
The Taliban decried the upcoming Afghan Loya Jirga for Peace as a tool of “the invaders and their stooges,” and called on all Afghans to shun the jirga.
The strike takes place as US and African Union backed Somali forces attempt to wrest territory held by Shabaab. US Africa Command recently estimated that Shabaab controls one quarter of Somalia’s territory.
While strikes against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have waned over the past year, they have not halted all together. AQAP remains a significant threat.
The Taliban blocked off all roads leading into Bala Murghab district, overran 11 security outposts and put an Afghan National Army company stationed there to rout. They also killed 44 Afghan security personnel and captured another 190, and advanced to within one kilometer of the district center.
Despite repeated claims to the contrary, al Qaeda has not been defeated in Afghanistan, and it still continues to operate alongside its ally, the Taliban.