In direct violation of the peace deal signed earlier this year, Taliban forces have continued to attack Afghan government troops by carrying out coordinated attacks in Helmand province. In response, the United States carried out several airstrikes in support of the Afghan Army. 

Colonel Sonny Leggett, the official spokesman for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged that the U.S. had conducted several airstrikes in support of Afghan government troops in Helmand province. He specified that the U.S. did not violate the peace deal signed in February.

Col. Leggett took to Twitter and posted a quote from General Scott Miller, the Commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country. It is not consistent with the U.S.-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks.”

The airstrikes were conducted after a running gun battle inside and around Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province’s capital. Taliban forces reportedly destroyed several bridges in the area. This effectively closed the highways off to all traffic. 

It isn’t the first time since the Feb. 29th peace deal that U.S. forces hit the Taliban with airstrikes. Specifically, back in March, the U.S. had conducted airstrikes on Taliban forces in Helmand province. The strikes were labeled a defensive measure after Taliban forces had attacked a government outpost. 

At the time, the Russian Foreign Ministry had immediately called out the U.S. for violating the peace agreement with the March stating, “This is a treaty violation because both the US and the Taliban entered into legally binding commitments not to attack. The Taliban did not attack the Americans or other foreign forces. If the U.S. did that, they violated the agreement blatantly.”

In June, American airpower had conducted airstrikes in Farah province as Taliban fighters were attacking government positions. In those airstrikes, three Taliban commanders and at least 13 fighters were killed. During the same day, U.S. airstrikes also hit Taliban forces in Kandahar province.