Afghanistan conflict: US warns of new Taliban ‘spring offensive’

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The Taliban could make rapid military gains across Afghanistan when American and Nato troops pull out, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has warned.

Under a deal between the Taliban and the previous Trump administration, all remaining US forces are due to leave the country by the end of next month.

But in a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Mr Blinken has warned of a possible new “spring offensive”.

US soldiers invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to remove the Taliban from power.

The American military operation was in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In January, the Biden administration said it would review the peace agreement made with the Taliban during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Under the deal, the remaining 10,000 US-led Nato forces in the country are due to pull out by 1 May in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.

The White House has now said that it wants to make sure the Afghan militant group is “living up to its commitments”, including reducing violence and cutting ties with terrorists, before withdrawing.

Levels of violence in the country remain high – with journalists, activists, politicians and women judges among those killed in targeted assassinations.

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