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Trump vows US attack on Taliban will continue, “stronger”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that what he called an unprecedented US military offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan would continue, just five days after peace talks with the group were canceled.

Trump said at a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that US forces “have hit our enemy more aggressively than they have been in the past four days and will continue to do so.”

The September 11, 2001 attacks, which left some 3,000 people dead, prompted the United States to launch a major offensive in Afghanistan in a bid to topple the Taliban regime that was protecting al-Qaeda leaders who planned the attacks.

Turning to the Kabul attack that killed a US soldier and forced him to cancel “peace negotiations” that would have been conducted in secret, Trump said the Taliban wanted to show their strength, but in reality they showed their “weakness.”

“If they return to our country for one reason or another, we will go where they are and use a military force that the United States has never used in history, and I am not talking about nuclear power here,” he said.

About 13,000 US troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan.

The peace deal, which was negotiated between Washington and the Taliban, aims to reduce the number of US troops in return for guarantees to counter terrorism, reduce violence and start direct peace negotiations with the Kabul government.

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