Army General Mark Milley has said it is “possible” the US will coordinate with the Taliban on strikes against ISIS militants.
Speaking at a Pentagon news conference on Wednesday, Milley suggested potential counterterrorism work between the two.
Milley did not elaborate on his comment regarding when this potential coordination with the Taliban could occur. However, the US are considering all options to reduce the power of terrorist groups, such as ISIS-K.
The Pentagons top leaders, Milley and Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, held the conference to honour troops who died in Afghanistan.
ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack on Kabul airport which caused the deaths of up to 170 people, including 13 US soldiers. They’ve been the focus of recent counterterrorism attempts, with Joe Biden warning that the US is not done with the group yet.
Biden has also noted that the Taliban are sworn enemies of the ISIS-K, suggesting a shared interest with the US.
The US have already coordinated with Taliban commanders outside Kabul airport to help facilitate evacuations.
So far there have been over 124 000 people evacuated from Kabul airport in the last three weeks.
Flights carrying the last American soldiers left Afghanistan on Monday, ending a nearly 20-year U.S. military presence in the country.
Kabul airport after the last American soldiers depart. pic.twitter.com/rPzADbm97S
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 30, 2021
Between 100 to 200 American citizens, legal permanent residents, and those who worked with the US, are still waiting to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Despite the passing of the deadline on August 31, evacuations will continue until all American citizens are returned to the US.
Meanwhile, Taliban fighters are feeling angry and betrayed after discovering that the US helicopters abandoned at Kabul airport were rendered inoperable by departing troops.
An anti-rocket system, dozens of armoured Humvees and other aircrafts were also left, all of which were disabled.
The terrorist group reportedly “expected the Americans to leave helicopters like this in one piece for their use.”
The Taliban were disappointed to find inoperable planes and helicopters left behind by American forces on the military side of the Kabul airport. pic.twitter.com/HfmlwYNjO0
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) September 1, 2021
Let’s hope this ‘betrayal’ does not cause future tensions down the track.