Taliban govt warns US against ‘invading Afghan airspace’

The newly-formed Taliban government has called on all countries, especially the United States, to “act in accordance with international commitments and not encroach on Afghanistan’s airspace”.

According to a statement issued by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Tuesday, all countries are the sole owners of the territorial and air sovereignty of their states under the international law, “therefore, the Islamic Emirate, as the sole legal entity of Afghanistan, is the guardian of Afghanistan’s land and airspace”.

The official communiqué added: “But the United States has recently acted in violation of all international law and its commitments to the Islamic Emirate in Doha, Qatar.”

US drones, the IEA officials said, are invading Afghanistan’s sacred airspace and such violations must be rectified and prevented.

The interim government in Afghanistan has urged all countries to respect the international laws under the guise of mutual respect and commitment to “prevent any negative consequences”.

The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of Kabul on August 15.

Moreover, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Tuesday that the Afghan army’s sudden collapse caught the Pentagon off-guard as he acknowledged miscalculations in America’s longest war including corruption and damaged morale in Afghan ranks.

“The fact that the Afghan army we and our partners trained simply melted away – in many cases without firing a shot – took us all by surprise,” Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“It would be dishonest to claim otherwise.”

Austin was speaking at the start of two days of what is expected to be some of the most contentious hearings in memory over the chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan, which cost the lives of US troops and civilians and left the Taliban back in power.

(With additional input from Reuters)

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