The US conducted its first airstrike against Taliban forces on Wednesday in Afghanistan since signing an ambitious peace deal with the militant group. US said the attack was to counter a Taliban assault on Afghan government forces in Nahr-e Saraj in the southern Helmand province. The US called on the Taliban to stop the attacks and uphold their commitments based on the peace agreement, which lays out a conditions-based path to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.
The strike came hours after US President Donald Trump spoke to deputy Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and discussed progress towards achieving peace in Afghanistan.
“I spoke to the leader of the Taliban... We had a very good talk,” Trump said on Wednesday. This makes him the first US President believed to have ever spoken directly with the militant group responsible for the deaths of thousands of US troops in nearly 19 years of fighting in Afghanistan.