Taliban appeal to Americans to rethink war effort 'rationally'

by Antonio Miles February 16, 2018, 4:49
Taliban appeal to Americans to rethink war effort 'rationally'

The 10-page letter released by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid makes use of statistics and figures in an attempt to sway the "American people" and "peace-loving congressmen" to pressure the White House into peace talks with the group - a move which Trump has publicly opposed.

The overall civilian toll last year of 3,438 killed and 7,015 wounded was 9% lower than the previous year.

According to the press release, at least 65 percent of casualties were due to the activity of anti-government elements, including the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, banned in Russia) and Taliban radical movement.

The Taliban maintains the precondition of total US military withdrawal before talking peace with the Kabul government.

Airstrikes - which are carried out only by the United States-led worldwide forces, in an operation now called Resolute Support, and the Afghan Air Force, not by the Taliban and their allies - killed 295 civilian bystanders and wounded 336 more, the report said.

The Taliban wrote on Wednesday, to the American people that they wanted to end Afghanistan's 17-year battle, however, stated that the message should not be seen as a sign of weakness and fight against USA forces would go on.

The letter attempts to persuade the United States that the war is unwinnable, citing the 3,546 troops that have been killed and the 87% increase in drug production in 2017.

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Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said during a press conference on Sunday that the Taliban-claimed January 27 attack near a public hospital, in which over 100 people got killed, was "Afghanistan's 9/11".

They implored the president to not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor and resort to negotiations instead of Imposing war on the country.

Deaths from complex attacks and other suicide bombings rose to 605 a year ago from 398 in 2016, according to the report, with the highest number of civilian casualties in Kabul. However in a separate declaration last month, it claimed responsibility for both the attacks.

The 2017 annual report, titled "Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict", gives a chilling assessment on the number of civilians killed by the ongoing conflict between the NATO-backed Afghan security forces and anti-government factions, such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and the Taliban, emphasizing they were the primary causes of non-combatant deaths. The remaining third were killed either during military action between the Afghan army and militants or in air strikes by the USA and global allies.

The report attributes 1,000 civilian casualties (399 deaths and 601 injured) and the abduction of 119 civilians to Daesh / ISIL-KP. "The recent attacks show this is not the case". The conclusion of the letter clearly indicates Taliban's loss.

"Our preference is to solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogue", the letter said.

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