Donald Trump vows to 'hit Taliban harder than ever' on 9/11 anniversary

Remigio Civitarese
Сентября 12, 2019

Trump cancelled a "secret" summit with Taliban leaders and his Afghan counterpart last week after the insurgent group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 others, dealing a body blow to protracted negotiations that were nearing a peace deal to end America's longest war.

A rocket exploded at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan just minutes into Wednesday, the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States, but officials at the compound declared all-clear about an hour later and reported no injuries.

The permanent representative also appeared to back Trump's claim that the goal of the attack earlier this month was to prepare a better negotiating position.

It's unclear if the US-Taliban talks will resume, but Trump has said he wants to withdraw about 5,000 of the 14,000 US service members still in Afghanistan.

"If for any reason, they come back to our country, we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before and I'm not even talking about nuclear power", Trump said without elaborating on what he meant.

The Taliban regime that had sheltered 9/11-mastermind Osama Bin Laden was ousted by USA -led military forces in 2001 but was never fully routed, maintaining a foothold in Afghanistan for 18 years.

President Donald Trump recently canceled scheduled talks between the US and the Taliban, the Islamic insurgent group ousted from power during the invasion, which still maintains strongholds in the country. "They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them", he added.

It was also stunning for the choice of the prestigious Camp David setting on a date so close to the September 11, 2001, anniversary.

They held poignant moments of silence at 8:46am (1246 GMT) and 9:03am, the precise times that the passenger jets struck the North and South Towers.

Relatives hugged and consoled each other and left roses at the memorial.

Bagpipes played as police officers walked into the ceremony carrying the U.S. flag before America's national anthem was played.

Later, speaking at the White House, Mr Trump repeated his assertion that talks with the Taliban were "dead".

Al-Qaeda hijacked four planes. The third hit the Pentagon and the fourth, Flight 93, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

In addition to those killed on 11 September, thousands of first responders, construction workers and residents have since developed an illness, many of them terminal, as a result of inhaling toxic fumes that engulfed lower Manhattan.

That claim was backed up by sources CBS News contacted at Resolute Support, the US -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Afghanistan.

In the almost 18 years of fighting since then, the number of USA troops in Afghanistan soared to 100,000 and dropped dramatically after bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan in 2011.

Trump's abrupt reversal of that plan and decision to punish the Taliban for last week's bomb attack was followed by the sacking of his controversial national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday.

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