Trump vows to hit Taliban 'harder' than ever as U.S. marks 9/11

Elias Hubbard
September 12, 2019

'They will have never seen anything like what will happen to them. The last kiss. The last phone call.

Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed victims' families and survivors to the White House, where they marked the anniversary with a moment of silence before the president delivered his speech at the Pentagon, where he also laid a wreath.

The rocket explosion comes on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in which Islamic Jihadists took control of several planes, crashing two into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon.

The US and the Taliban have for almost a year been attempting to negotiate a peace deal that would ensure the withdrawal of foreign troops in exchange for the movement's guarantee that the country will not become a safe haven for terrorists.

President Trump on Sunday announced that he is called off peace negotiations with the Taliban group. The nature of the offensive was not immediately clear but Trump said it was ordered after he cancelled peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend in retaliation for a bomb attack that killed one USA soldier last week.

The Taliban regime that had sheltered 9/11-mastermind Osama Bin Laden was ousted by US -led military forces in 2001 but was never fully routed, maintaining a foothold in Afghanistan for 18 years. It came as Trump was discussing the Taliban and the controversial negotiations that were to take place at Camp David before they were abruptly canceled. More than 2,400 American service members have been killed in the conflict.

"The worldwide community needs to continue its support by fulfilling the commitments made to the Afghan security forces in their fight against the scourge of terrorism", he said.

Majorities of Americans, including veterans, think the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, according to a May poll from Pew Research Center. In his address at the Pentagon memorial, Trump said, "18 years ago, the terrorists struck this citadel of power and American strength, but the enemies soon learned that they could not weaken the spirit of our people". Republican veterans were more likely than Democratic veterans to say the war in Afghanistan was worth fighting, 46% versus 26%, though even Republican veterans were divided in their assessment. The US now has about 14,000 troops in the country.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have said they would ensure American combat forces return from Afghanistan during their first term, while California Sen. Kamala Harris and Vermont Sen.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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