Afghan Taliban make important announcement, ring alarm bells in security circles

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Afghan Taliban make important announcement, ring alarm bells in security circles

KABUL - The Taliban on Friday announced their annual spring offensive, which comes as the Afghan and US politicians try to negotiate for a peace settlement with the militant group.

Operation Fath — which means “victory” in Arabic — will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of “eradicating occupation” and “cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption”, Taliban said in a statement.

The annual spring offensive traditionally marks the start of the so-called fighting season, though the announcement is largely symbolic as in recent winters the Taliban has continued fighting Afghan and US forces.

“Our Jihadi obligation has not yet ended,” the Taliban said.

The Ministry of Defense spokesman Qais Mangal said the Taliban’s spring offensive is “mere propaganda”.

This comes after the Afghan government on announced on April 2 that President Ashraf Ghani has approved the security plan for the current solar year as conflicts are intensifying between security forces and Taliban in different parts of the country