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UK forces to launch airstrikes against IS as US troops withdrew

RAF is prepared to launch airstrikes against the IS militants to counter terrorism emanating from Afghanistan as US completes its withdrawal a day ahead of the deadline set by President Joe Biden. Statements by UK prime minister and RAF chief highlight that Britain choose to stand with the Afghans and ensure that the Taliban remain committed to their pledges.

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British forces will not hesitate to launch airstrikes against IS terrorists in Afghanistan, as reported by the Royal Air Force (RAF) chief, Sir Michael Wigston, in the wake of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The UK had already pulled out its remaining troops – also concluded the airborne evacuation effort from Kabul leaving distraught Afghans to face an uncertain future amid Taliban’s resurgence.

Pertaining to the deadline, the US-led military presence in Afghanistan has came to an end as the  last US soldier to leave Afghanistan was Major General Christopher Donahue at midnight on Monday. The complete withdrawal a day ahead of the deadline set by US president Joe Biden bring an end to the 20 years engagement of the US and foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Read more: Taliban parade in rejoice on US leaving Kabul Airport

UK forces to launch airstrikes against IS militants by all means available 

While the international community appear to accept the reality of the Taliban’s rule, the US and UK are adamant to crack down on IS militants. Last Thursday, the so-called Islamic State took responsibility of the explosions at the Kabul airport during the final days of the evacuation effort. This attack killed two Britons and a child of a British national, along with 13 US service personnel and Afghans.

Willing to take IS down, RAF pledges to launch airstrikes against the IS in Afghanistan and the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the global coalition against the terrorist group was ready “to combat Daesh networks by all means available, wherever they operate”.

“Ultimately what this boils down to is that we’ve got to be able to play a global role in the global coalition to defeat Daesh, whether it’s strike, or whether it’s moving troops or equipment into a particular country, at scale and at speed,”  Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston told the Daily Telegraph.

“If there’s an opportunity for us to contribute I am in no doubt that we will be ready to – that will be anywhere where violent extremism raises its head, and is a direct or indirect threat to the UK and our allies.

“Afghanistan is probably one of the most inaccessible parts of the world, and we’re able to operate there.”

Read more: The looming threat of ISKP in Afghanistan

World eyes now on Taliban.20

With the complete US withdrawal, the Taliban proclaimed “full independence” for Afghanistan and celebrate the return of Afghan sovereignty. Nonetheless, the new regime is under pressure from the international community to respect human rights and provide safe passage for those who desire to escape their rule as per the UN security council resolution.

The resolution was adopted in New York which acknowledges that it is now up to the Taliban to decide whether people can leave or should stay in the country. Also, the UK hopes that this resolution is a step forward to unified international response.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Tonight’s UN Security Council resolution, led by the UK with our allies, makes clear that the international community stands with Afghans.”

He added that “there can be no return to repression or terror. We will push as one voice for safe passage, humanitarian access and respect for human rights.” Such statements in the wake of RAF decision to launch airstrikes against IS aim to counter terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.

“We will continue to build on this to ensure the council holds the Taliban accountable on its commitments. The Taliban will be judged by the international community on the basis of their actions on the ground, not their words,” stressed the UK’s ambassador to the UN, Dame Barbara Woodward on the need for a coordinated response to counter IS terrorism.

Read more: Rise of Taliban: An era of new security challenges?

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