The Taliban has claimed responsibility for killing a U.S service member during a roadside bombing in Afghanistan. This raises the US death toll in Afghanistan to 20 this year. Additional information about the soldier has not yet been released. The Taliban posted the service member’s identity card and an alleged photo of the service member through text message. Whether the photo holds the US service member’s actual identity or not has not yet been confirmed.
According to CNN, a spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, confessed that the American was killed in the “northern province of Kunduz” where American and Afghaistanian soldiers are “carrying out a raid.” He further added that it was their fighters (Talibanians) that killed a U.S force member and injured an Afghan commando” This comes after President Donald Trump began conducting peace talks with the Taliban forces after abruptly ending it 3 months ago. This was done in an attempt to end America’s longest war.
According to NBC, the talks came “just before The Washington Post reported it had obtained more than 2,000 pages of government documents that said it proved how the U.S government have misled the public about the war in Afghanistan.” NBC has not been able to verify this claim. President Trump announced that peace talks would begin again during Thanksgiving while he visited the troops in Afghanistan.
The President stated that the Taliban wanted to make a deal, and they were willing to meet with them, but under a “cease-fire.” “We’re saying it has to be a cease-fire, but they didn’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they want to a cease-fire, I believe,” said President Donald Trump (Via NY Times) Part of the negotiations includes the group of insurgents promising to not use any Afghaistanian territory as a base for its operations. The Taliban also claims that it was them behind the killing of two US service members when their helicopter crashed in Logar province. They are claiming that they were the reason it was downed. The claims have been declared as false by US military officials. One of the leaders of the Taliban agreed that they were willing to cease the only f the US agreed to completely pull back their troops fro Afghan territory. They currently control about half of the country.
Currently, there are no attempts or talks of drawing back American troops in Afghanistan. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper asserts that pulling back American troops would not necessarily have a positive or negative impact on negotiations with the Taliban, but adds that reducing the number of troops was still a possibility. There are about 13,000 American troops deployed to Afganistan. He says he would like to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan and redeploy them to the Indo-Pacific to confront China.” ( Via Military Times.) The identity of the serviceman killed has not yet been revealed as they are awaiting notification from next of kin.