August 17, 2022

On Friday, the Taliban organized large protests against America and leftist President Joe Biden in response to the US military’s removal of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri with a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, last weekend.

Al-Zawahiri, who took over the leadership of the terrorist organization after the death of Osama bin Laden, has reportedly been living openly in Kabul’s affluent Sherpur district for several months. The United Nations said in a report shortly before Biden announced the air strike that it was “likely” that Taliban terrorists were providing al-Zawahiri with safe haven.

Biden announced on Monday that a drone strike killed al-Zawahiri with minor property damage and no other injuries while on his Sherbourne balcony. The Taliban, who took over Afghanistan after Biden violated the Trump-era pact that would have ended the Afghan war in May, responded to the news first with “a strong condemnation.”[ing]”The air strike, then they claimed that Taliban jihadists ‘had no information’ that al-Zawahiri entered the country or was living in Kabul. Reports citing unspecified US intelligence indicate that in addition to conspicuously living in the Taliban capital, the terrorist leader may have been living in A house owned by a prominent member of the Taliban and al-Qaeda Haqqani Network.

The Taliban and al-Qaeda are both Sunni jihadist organizations that have decades of friendly relations. The Trump-era agreement between the Taliban and Washington, known as the “Doha Agreement” after the city was brokered, would have required the Taliban to sever all ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

The Afghan government’s Bakhtar News Agency released several photos and videos from Kabul, Kandahar, and other major Afghan population centers of large numbers of men gathered to condemn the air raid on al-Zawahiri. The mob is shown holding banners with unflattering pictures of Joe Biden and chanting anti-American slogans. Bakhtar, a Taliban spokesman, claimed that “hundreds of thousands” of people had taken part in the protests across the country.

Pajhwok, an independent Afghan news agency, included At least nine provinces are organizing protests against America’s move to remove the al-Qaeda leader from the battlefield: Kabul, Farah, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Khost, Badghis, Balkh, and Logar, as well as “a number of other provinces.” His report indicated that the protests appeared to be organized by mosques after Friday prayers.

We ask the United States to abandon Afghanistan and leave this country alone. “America has no right to attack our country,” one protester told Pajhwok.

Another participant in Farah’s protest, a preacher at a local mosque, appeared to have denied that the airstrike had ever occurred.

“America must retract its lies. “Joe Biden is lying because he made Ayman al-Zawahiri a martyr,” the newspaper quoted the preacher as saying.

Afghan Ariana News, reported from several cities involved, added that some protesters added to their demands that America abide by the Doha agreement, echoing the Taliban’s first statement on the air strike issued on Tuesday.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns this attack for any reason and describes it as a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote in the statement published on Tuesday. Such actions are a repetition of the failed experiences of the past twenty years and are contrary to the interests of the United States of America, Afghanistan and the region. The repetition of such actions will harm opportunities.”

Mujahid himself had declared that the Doha agreement was effectively rescinded after Biden unilaterally decided to extend America’s presence in Afghanistan beyond May 1, 2021, the deadline agreed by the Trump administration.

Mujahid’s first statement this week did not mention al-Zawahiri. On Thursday, he published a second statement on behalf of the Taliban denying any knowledge or involvement in the presence of the al-Qaeda leader in the Taliban capital.

“Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [the Taliban] He has no information about Ayman al-Zawahiri’s arrival and stay in Kabul. “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has ordered the investigation and intelligence agencies to conduct a thorough and serious investigation into the various aspects of the incident.”

Regardless of the protests, Taliban “Defense Minister” Mullah Muhammad Yaqoub Mujahid said in an interview this week that America should to get to know The Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan and urged the American public to put pressure on its government to support the Taliban.

There are more countries in the world that pose a threat to America than Afghanistan, but America still officially recognizes it. According to the Afghan Ariana News, Mujahid told NPR, “I think the recognition is a positive step towards greater change.”

He added, “I ask the American nation to put pressure on the government,” if the impediment to recognition is the lack of political capital in America to do so.

The Taliban overthrew the US-recognized Afghan government on August 15, 2021, after then-President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The Taliban’s invasion of the entire Afghan territory happened quickly after Biden announced that he would keep US forces in the country beyond May 1, in violation of the Doha agreement.

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