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Mixed messages? US drops record number of bombs on Afghanistan amid peace efforts with Taliban

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The US military dropped an eye-popping 7,362 bombs on Afghanistan last year, Pentagon data shows, making 2018 the most airstrike-abundant year for the country in at least a decade – even as the US seeks peace with the Taliban. Manned and unmanned US military aircraft pounded Afghanistan with a combined payload of 7,362 “weapons” in Read More

Acting US Defense Secretary makes surprise visit to Afghanistan, urges Kabul to join peace talks

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Afghan officials were treated to a surprise visit by the acting US Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, who arrived unannounced, apparently to discuss peace talks and the prospects for American military presence in the region. “It is important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan,” Shanahan told reporters accompanying him, as cited Read More

‘All expectations exceeded’: Former Afghan president Karzai rathers Moscow talks than US ‘failure’

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By hosting a meeting between the Taliban and other Afghan delegates, Moscow has greatly contributed to a peace process in Afghanistan, ex-President Hamid Karzai said, denouncing years of “failed” US military presence and policies. “We would like to express our deep gratitude to the Russian government for the efforts it took to create conditions for Read More

US envoy admits ‘positive’ Russian role in Afghan peace process as generals bemoan ‘lost’ war

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US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad expressed hope that a peace treaty might be concluded this year and said Russia played a “positive role” in the talks, as US generals who fought there conceded the war was lost long ago. Speaking at the US Institute for Peace (USIP) on Friday, Khalilzad said it would be Read More

State of the Union: Trump reveals plan to meet Kim Jong Un

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By David Mercer, news reporter Donald Trump has revealed he will meet Kim Jong Un in Vietnam for their second nuclear summit as he delivered his State of the Union speech. The US president said he will hold talks with the North Korean leader on 27 and 28 February after claiming he helped avert a Read More

Taliban & Afghan delegates seek end to 18yr war at Moscow peace talks boycotted by US-backed Kabul

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Representatives of the Taliban met with other Afghan delegates in Moscow to discuss the prospects of peace and the removal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. Among those present was the first US-backed president Hamid Karzai. The Taliban were represented by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a former mujahideen fighter who has led the movement’s office Read More

Taliban kills 26 as it starts peace talks in Moscow

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The Taliban has killed 26 people in an attack on an army base in Afghanistan on the day it began peace talks with opposition leaders in Moscow. The insurgent group, which had killed a further 21 people on Monday, has described talks held with the US in Qatar last month as a success, according to Read More

US imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions against Shia militias in Syria, airline companies

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The US Treasury Department has issued a new batch of sanctions against four entities that it says have ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and airlines that are already on Washington’s black list. The new ‘Iran-related’ sanctions list published by the Treasury on Thursday contains only one Iranian entity – a cargo airline based in Read More