- The Washington Times - Friday, December 11, 2020

U.S. officials continue to conduct strikes against Taliban forces even as they continue negotiations coupled to a drawdown of the number of troops in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, U.S. forces launched an attack on what they said were “armed Taliban fighters” who were shelling an Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) checkpoint located in the Zhari district of Kandahar.

“This strike in defense of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces is in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement,” Army Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, said Friday in a Twitter message.

Col. Legett denied allegations from the Taliban that innocent civilians had been targeted. “The Taliban’s claim of civilian casualties [is] false,” he said.

Army Gen. Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. would be reducing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 next month.

During a recent online event hosted by the Brookings Institution, Gen. Milley said the U.S. has reached something of a stalemate with the Taliban.

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