Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

EU and US Envoys Call for End to Helmand Violence

EU and US Envoys Call for  End to Helmand Violence

HELMAND - Andreas von Brandt, the European Union’s new ambassador and head of delegation to Afghanistan on Tuesday called for an end to violence in Helmand.
In a post on Twitter, he said: “Stop the senseless violence! EU partners reporting that armed clashes have continued in Helmand. In last 48 hours 75 war wounded have been assisted by @eu_echo (EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid) supported trauma center in Lashkargah.”
Von Brandt’s comments came just a few hours after US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson also called for the Taliban to stop attacks in Helmand.
He posted a statement on Twitter and said: “I strongly second Gen. Miller’s call for the Taliban to stop its offensive in Helmand and reduce its violence around the country.
“This violence, which is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement, leads only to unacceptable loss of life and destruction,” adding that “it should stop so that all parties can move toward a lasting and much-needed peace for all Afghans.”
On Monday US-Forces Afghanistan Commander, General Scott Miller said: “The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country. It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks.”
The agreement, signed in Doha in February, between the US and the Taliban, stipulates, among other things, that the Taliban will not conduct major attacks on any urban centers or provincial capitals.
However, on Saturday night, the Taliban launched a series of coordinated attacks on parts of Helmand province, including the capital Lashkargah.
Heavy fighting has been ongoing ever since and dozens of lives have been lost. Hundreds of families have also fled their homes in a number of districts and on the outskirts of Lashkargah.
In a bid to help the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces protect themselves, the US carried out airstrikes against the insurgent group in the province on Sunday and Monday.
In a statement confirming the operation, US-Forces Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett confirmed American forces had conducted several targeted strikes in Helmand and said this was in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement and that USFOR-A has and will continue to provide support in defense of the ANDSF under attack by the Taliban. (ATN)