Afghan war may not escalate with Hibatullah succession: NATO
Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, RS spokesman, told a press conference here that Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was targeted because he was a direct threat to Afghan and coalition forces and he was against peace in the country.
Five days ago, Mansour was targeted by US drones while returning from Iran in the Balochistan province of Pakistan.
On the appointment of Mullah Hibatullah Akhunzada as Taliban’s new supreme commander, Cleveland said “the Taliban leadership has two options which are to continue killing innocent people or to join the peace process.”
However, he was optimistic about future, saying “it is expected that Mullah Hibat would choose the peace option.”
Choosing peace could introduce the Taliban leader as a personality of peace and could also prevent his supporters from dying, he said.
Taliban should realize that they could not win the war and would face defeat, he declared.
The NATO official said the Afghan ground and air forces had improved during the past year and had many achievements.
By choosing offensive state, the Afghan forces could dismantle the plans of terrorists, he said, adding terrorists have been defeated once again in northern Afghanistan and now attention was being paid to southern provinces.
The Taliban have also no courage to fight face to face against Afghan security forces, he concluded.
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