The Taliban’s spokesman says the hard-line group will crack down on Islamic State, or Daesh, attacks and expects them to end once foreign forces leave the country.
A devastating suicide bomb attack claimed by Daesh outside Kabul airport on Thursday killed scores of people who were hoping to flee the country, as well as 13 US service members.
Retaliatory or pre-emptive strikes by the United States on Daesh positions over the past few days have angered the movement, however.
“We hope that those Afghans who are influenced by IS… will give up their operations on seeing the formation of an Islamic government in the absence of foreigners,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP in a weekend interview. “If they create a situation for war and continue with their operations, the Islamic government… we will deal with them,” he added.
The Pentagon said it carried out a drone strike Sunday against a vehicle threatening Kabul airport that had been linked to Daesh.
“There is no permission for them to do such operations… our independence must be respected,” he said.
The evacuation of tens of thousands of foreigners and Afghans who feel at risk of reprisal or repression under the Taliban is due to end on Tuesday, along with the full withdrawal of US and NATO troops.
Daesh has been highly critical of the troop withdrawal deal struck between the Taliban and Washington last year, which saw the Taliban offer security guarantees.
One Daesh commentary published after the fall of Kabul accused the Taliban of betrayal with the US withdrawal deal and vowed to continue its fight, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant communications.
During the Taliban’s prison break spree this summer to free its fighters, many battle-hardened Daesh militants were also released — increasingly looking like a lethal error.