Taliban assault provincial capital in west Afghanistan

Resolute Support forces arrive at the site of car bomb explosion in Kabul Afghanistan Thursday Sept. 5 2019

Resolute Support forces arrive at the site of car bomb explosion in Kabul Afghanistan Thursday Sept. 5 2019

The government in Kabul has been completely side-lined from the talks between the USA and the Taliban in Doha - to the extent that President Ashraf Ghani was shown a copy of the deal, but not allowed to keep it.

Relentless, deadly attacks by the Taliban, including a auto bombing Thursday that killed a USA service member, are testing President Donald Trump's resolve to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and end what he has called America's "endless" war. It's part of a string of attacks launched by the Taliban this week, even as the group is reportedly nearing a peace deal with the United States.

A top Congressional committee on Thursday called on US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to testify before it on the US-Taliban deal which is "agreed in principle". Khalilzad has said the first 5,000 USA troops would withdraw from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days of a final deal.

He writes that "given the challenges this Committee has faced in getting information from the Trump Administration on this issue, I want to be clear: I do not consider your testimony at this hearing optional".

Afghanistan's president has postponed a planned visit to Washington early next week where he was to discuss the U.S. -Taliban talks on ending America's longest war, a person familiar with the negotiations said Friday.

In May previous year, the Taliban made a major attempt to capture Farah city but were eventually driven back by Afghan and U.S. forces.

A senior US official said it's not clear how long the envoy will be in Doha or where he will go afterward.

Nadal aims ball into US Open broadcast booth
Nadal remains on track to win his 19th Grand Slam title this week having fended off Diego Schwartzman to reach the semi-finals. I need to go to sleep. "I don't know how", Schwartzman said, "but this guy is improving every time".

"The concerns are very high, not just for the government but also for the people of Afghanistan, because the people of Afghanistan have been bitten by this snake before", Waheed Omer, a senior adviser to the Afghan president, told a press briefing in Kabul on Thursday.

"Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless", said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Few details have emerged from the nine rounds of U.S. -Taliban talks over almost a year.

Despite the violence, the administration is likely to continue pushing for an end to US involvement and a withdrawal of American troops, said Jarrett Blanc, the deputy USA special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2012 to 2014.

Trump has said he wants to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops from Afghanistan and then contemplate further drawdowns. Between 14,000 and 13,000 troops are now in the country. In addition, the Afghan government would acknowledge - but not endorse - the U.S. -Taliban deal, the sources said.

However, the Taliban want all of the approximately 20,000 US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

If the Taliban deal enters into force, the Taliban and the Afghan government would start peace talks in Oslo later this month. The U.S. military has had boots on the ground since 2001, when American forces toppled the Taliban regime for harboring the al Qaeda extremists behind the September 11 attacks.

Recommended News

  • Woman killed by black bear near Canadian border

    Woman killed by black bear near Canadian border

    Two bears whom authorities described as a sow and a yearling, were also found nearby and were "showing signs of hostility". Canadian authorities said Wednesday a Minnesota woman was killed by a black bear on a remote island in western Ontario.
    Samsung Galaxy Fold pre orders cancelled before re-launch

    Samsung Galaxy Fold pre orders cancelled before re-launch

    You can also place pre-orders for the new Galaxy Fold now , so it's not that pre-ordering the device at all is finished. The move comes after Samsung announced that it will release its Galaxy Fold in South Korea on Friday (Sept. 6).
    Nokia triple-camera 7.2 and 6.2 handsets promise bokeh brilliance

    Nokia triple-camera 7.2 and 6.2 handsets promise bokeh brilliance

    The screen is bigger, the notch is smaller and the camera bump is circular instead of a capsule-shaped one seen on Nokia 6 .1. I am not too sure of the performance of these phones as yet, but honestly, I was expecting Nokia to be a bit more aggressive.
  • There are now  more iPhone hacks than ever, says report

    There are now more iPhone hacks than ever, says report

    Google isn't in the business of selling exploits, so it researched the scheme and reported it to Apple in a responsible manner. One of the reasons why Android vulnerabilities are becoming pricier than similar iOS ones is how fragmented the ecosystem is.
    Football transfer spending soars across Europe

    Football transfer spending soars across Europe

    The biggest names among the permanent transfer were a pair of Central American veterans: Keylor Navas and Javier Hernandez. But there were also summer spending records in Italy (£1.06 billion), Germany (£670 million) and France (£605 million).
    Man who rapped about killing his girlfriend charged with murder

    Man who rapped about killing his girlfriend charged with murder

    Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at 323-890-5500. He had been accused of beating and strangling his girlfriend, Amanda Custer, 31, on April 22.
  • Left-Handed DNA Instructions Identified, And They Alter Brain Structure

    Left-Handed DNA Instructions Identified, And They Alter Brain Structure

    The best guess is handedness is 25 per cent genetic and 75pc down to the environment (anything that's not in the genes). The team's study appears in the journal Brain, a Journal of Neurology .
    Facebook announces changes to vaccine search policy

    Facebook announces changes to vaccine search policy

    For everyone else, the window will suggest users visit the World Health Organization's website. Facebook isn't alone in directing users to authoritative sources on vaccine information.
    Crazy Rich Asians Writer Adele Lim Left Sequel Over Pay Disparity

    Crazy Rich Asians Writer Adele Lim Left Sequel Over Pay Disparity

    In 2017, Asian American actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park allegedly left CBS's Hawaii Five-O due to unequal pay. Instead of keeping up with a timeline, the team is focused on " getting the story right ", Chu told THR .
  • BoE foresees ‘less severe’ impact of no-deal Brexit

    BoE foresees ‘less severe’ impact of no-deal Brexit

    Carney stressed to MPs that all these numbers were the result of modelling for the worst case scenario and were not forecasts. In November, a weaker pound and tariff costs were assumed amount to a 10% rise in food costs, under the worst-case scenario.
    Messi Has Clause In Contract To Leave Barcelona After Each Season

    Messi Has Clause In Contract To Leave Barcelona After Each Season

    The Argentina star is contracted until 2021 but he can walk away at the end of every season due to a clause in his current deal.
    Trump Decries Network 'Double Standard' on Debra Messing

    Trump Decries Network 'Double Standard' on Debra Messing

    Meanwhile, McCormack requested the names of the attendees "so the rest of us can be clear about who we don't wanna work with". The tweets were apparently sparked by a Fox News segment targeting Messing, which aired shortly before his comments.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.