The Taliban warned on Tuesday that Afghanistan would become a “graveyard” for the United States after President Donald Trump cleared the way for thousands more American troops to be sent to the war-torn country.
“If America doesn’t withdraw its troops, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.
The Taliban further dismissed Donald Trump’s strategy for Afghanistan as vague and “nothing new”.
“For now I can tell you there was nothing new in his speech and it was very unclear,” Mujahid told AFP.
He added that the militants were preparing a formal statement which would be released later.
Trump backtracked from his promise to rapidly end America’s longest war in his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief late on Monday, though he did not offer specifics.
He said he had concluded “the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable”, leaving a vacuum that terrorists “would instantly fill.”
A senior Taliban commander told AFP that Trump was just perpetuating the “arrogant behaviour” of previous presidents such as George Bush.
“He is just wasting American soldiers. We know how to defend our country. It will not change anything.
“For generations, we have fought this war, we are not scared, we are fresh and we will continue this war until our last breath,” he told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
He added that the statement proved the current Afghan government “is a US puppet”.