The Taliban defended a suicide bombing attack outside of Kabul that killed at least 16 people “and wounded 119, almost all local civilians, just hours after a U.S. enjoy said he and the militant group had reached a deal ‘in principle’ to end America’s longest war” according to the Military Times.

One witness said a large “Crater” was left from the tractor packed with explosives which was used to carry out the attack. Spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid told the Associated Press “we understand that peace talks are going on…but they must also understand that we are not weak and if we enter into talks…we enter from a strong position.”

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Unsure of repercussions the attacks will have in the area which the Taliban say are meant for “invaders” or the Afghan government, the reality is that it’s Afghan civilians that are suffering and therefore may never succumb to any sort of Taliban rule despite any peace negotiations.

A U.S. envoy says the “deal with insurgents only needs the approval of President Donald Trump to become a reality. The accord would include a troop withdrawal that the Taliban already portray as their victory.” All of this raises concern that the Taliban cannot be trusted and that talks are just that; talk.

Yesterday, several former U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan published a joint statement by the Atlantic Council that “it is not clear whether peace is possible” because the Taliban has “made it clear that the war will go on against the Afghan government.” Additionally, the statement asserted “all of this could prove catastrophic for U.S. national security” in regards to the delicacy of troops withdrawal moving too quickly or without requiring the Taliban to reduce its terror attacks.

Continue Reading: Military Times