Officials with the U.S. government have revealed that they have received new intelligence indicating that the Taliban has no intention of sticking to the peace deal that Donald Trump’s administration recently signed with them.
“They have no intention of abiding by their agreement,” one official told NBC News.
President Trump himself admitted yesterday that the Taliban could “possibly” overrun the Afghan government after U.S. troops withdraw from the country.
“Countries have to take care of themselves,” Trump said. “You can only hold someone’s hand for so long.” When asked if the Taliban could eventually seize power, Trump said it’s “not supposed to happen that way, but it possibly will.”
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen spoke out to deny that the terrorist group will not be abiding by the deal.
“We categorically reject allegations by US intel officials to NBC News that the (Taliban) has no intention of abiding by the agreement,” he said. “The…implementation process is going good so far & such comments by US officials cannot be justified.”
“We categorically reject allegations by US intel officials to NBC News that the (Taliban) has no intention of abiding by the agreement. The…implementation process is going good so far & such comments by US officials cannot be justified,” said Taliban spox Suhail Shaheen. pic.twitter.com/4swrumolgC
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) March 7, 2020
However, Taliban sources have also been saying that the group is not going to stick to the peace deal. One unnamed Taliban source said that the group viewed the peace deal as a way of securing the withdrawal of American “occupiers,” and that once we are gone, they will be able to attack the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan.
“‘We will ask the Afghan leadership and other political factions that since the U.S. has accepted us and recognized our position, it is time for you to accept us and give us the country peacefully,” said one Taliban source who was purportedly not authorized to talk to the media.
Multiple Taliban sources have said that they fear Trump will back out of his side of the deal after the presidential election in November.
“President Trump is straightforward but then unpredictable and you can expect anything from him,” one source said.
This comes just one week after the Taliban signed a peace deal in which they promised to stop harboring terrorists and to enter into peace talks with an Afghan government-led delegation in exchange for the U.S. withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan.
“Look, we all hope they follow through with their side of the agreement, but we believe we know their true intentions,” one U.S. official who has seen the intelligence said.
When asked if he thinks the Taliban will adhere to the peace deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We still have confidence the Taliban leadership is working to deliver on its commitments.”
He added that if Taliban leaders break their promises, the deal will not go forward.