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Taliban reinforces warning to US not to use drones in Afghan airspace

By Lucas Leiroz | September 29, 2021

The US, which recently withdrew its troops during the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, apparently is still active in the Central Asian country. Clandestine operations involving drones allegedly aimed at combating Daesh K agents have caused controversy in the region in recent days. The Taliban emphatically affirms that it will not tolerate a foreign presence and that it will fight American drones in the same way it fights terrorists, while Washington insists on a “global police” posture and says that it will continue to use drones against the Daesh K.

In late August, a drone strike by the US military against Daesh K militants caused outrage in the Taliban. The de facto government in Kabul repudiated the American measure not only because Washington disrespected Afghan sovereignty by carrying out incursions into the country after its participation in the war ended, but mainly because the operation was a complete disaster, resulting in the death of ten civilians, including seven children and a humanitarian NGO agent. In fact, the terrorists were not affected by the American operation, which only killed innocent people and caused massive humanitarian damage.

In response, the Taliban warned that Washington would suffer consequences for its interventionist stance if there were new drone operations in Afghan territory. The group emphasized the fact that operating in Afghan airspace without prior authorization from the local government is an international crime and can be responded with military action. Considering that the Taliban is currently the group that controls Afghanistan, establishing a real government, although not internationally recognized, Washington should ask the Taliban for authorization to act in the region. Without this authorization, there is a crime of territorial invasion.

On Tuesday, the Taliban published a new statement reaffirming its authority over the entire Afghan territory and prohibiting unauthorized foreign military actions in the country. The group also highlighted the clauses of the Doha peace agreement, signed by Washington in 2020, which established non-intervention as one of the prerequisites for the future of the Afghan issue. In the statement, we can read: “The United States has recently violated all international law and its commitments to the Islamic Emirate in Doha, Qatar, and Afghanistan’s sacred airspace is being occupied by US drones. These violations must be corrected and prevented (…) We will call on all countries, especially the United States, to abide by their international commitments and laws in order to prevent any negative consequences”.

Previously, the US government had stated that last month’s attack was not the last and that new actions in Afghan territory using military drones were about to take place. Apparently, there is an understanding on the part of Washington that the end of the participation in the Afghan war does not imply the end of “security measures” against targets identified as terrorists, which is quite contradictory. The mentality of acting as “global police” is so strongly rooted in US security policy that the country simply believes it really has the right to invade other states’ airspace and does not consider it an international crime.

The increase in the activities of terrorist groups has influenced this scenario because these terrorist organizations’ actions “justify” to Western public opinion the “need” for new interventions in Afghanistan. The largest of these groups is Daesh K itself, a Central Asian branch of ISIS, which operates heavily in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been involved in terrible episodes of violence since the Taliban’s takeover. The group has established itself as the number one enemy of the new government, operating several attacks against civilians with the objective of generating social chaos and preventing the Taliban from consolidating in power.

Washington sees this fact as evidence that the West needs to remain involved in Afghan internal disputes and, with no possibility of sending human military personnel, considering the recent withdrawal, the American government mobilizes drones to carry out the attacks. However, it is clear that the Taliban has strength enough to deal with this situation without international coalitions. The Taliban’s military potential is far greater than the power of the former Afghan government – it is not by chance that the former government collapsed within a few days. In addition, a substantial portion of the American military apparatus passed into the hands of Afghan leaders after the seizure of Kabul, resulting in a Taliban far stronger than any terrorist group currently present in Afghan territory.

Considering this scenario, the American “concern” seems unnecessary. The US has no right to intervene in Afghanistan unless the Taliban itself requests it. The group appears to have enough strength to resolve its disputes with other terrorist organizations – and even if the Taliban were weaker than Daesh K, other countries would need authorization to operate in Afghan territory. The US government is visibly invading the airspace of another sovereign state and needs to be punished internationally for it.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

September 29, 2021 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | ,

3 Comments »

  1. “US Drone Strike in Kabul Kills Nine Members of Single Family, Including 6 Kids”

    The USA/MIC/CIA is the world’s Largest Terrorist organisation, and has been so since the end of WWII…..No question about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | September 29, 2021 | Reply

  2. God Damn the endlessly arrogant and belligerent and murderous US. It (we) need to purge ZioOccupiedWashDC of all (mostly Jew-Zionist) neocons from positions of power and influence in govt [DoD-MIC, State, leg/exec], thinktankdom, media, lobbies, finance…once and for all…final solution. It/we CANNOT have a coherent, sane, practical, balanced, cooperative position of diplomacy and world comity without vomiting out this interminable, unspeakable scourge…. I think it almost trite/too obvious to observe that its/our current state of dysfunction has fuc*ed up the landscape internationally and (bleeding to) domestic chaos.

    Thanks to LL and AN…a right-on report, and from Rio at that! Kudos!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by roberthstiver | September 30, 2021 | Reply

    • It is sickening to watch, American politicians, prior to an election, lining up to pledge alliegiance to not only the USA, but to Israel,(usually against a background of both the USA flag, but also a light blue and white, Israeli flag(the same colours as the President’s plane, or hasn’t anyone noticed?…..yet.)

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | September 30, 2021 | Reply


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