• publish: 6 July 2021
  • time: 12:44 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 18204

UK could launch airstrikes from outside Afghanistan against threats

Britain could launch airstrikes from outside Afghanistan against any future terrorist threats to the UK that emerge inside the country as troops withdraw, a defense minister has said on Monday, Sky News reported.

James Heappey, the UK armed forces minister, drew on the example of how British warplanes fly from a base in Cyprus to attack Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq when asked by an MP if the UK would similarly conduct military action in Afghanistan from a distance.

“We absolutely reserve the right to counter terrorist threats to the United Kingdom that may re-emerge in Afghanistan,” Heappey said. “I know that that is very much in the thoughts of those who are planning for that eventuality in Afghanistan,” Heappey added.

Previously the New York Times reported that the Pentagon is considering whether to intervene with warplanes or drones in the event that Kabul is in danger of falling to the Taliban, though no decisions have been made.

Quoting senior US officials, The Times reported that the Pentagon is considering seeking authorization to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Kabul or another major city is in danger of falling to the Taliban.

This comes after Tajikistan said will deploy thousands of troops along its border with Afghanistan amid fierce fighting between the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and the Taliban.

During a National Security Council meeting on Monday, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon ordered the Tajik military to deploy 20,000 soldiers along the Afghan-Tajik border, the Tajikistan president’s office stated.

Rahmon also raised concerns over the situation in Afghanistan with his Uzbek and Kazakh counterparts. Dushanbe, meanwhile, stated that the three countries have emphasized the importance of joint cooperation to strengthen the border protection of Central Asian countries with Afghanistan in order to prevent threats.

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