Afghanistan Claims Violations of Airspace by U.S. Drones

Since 2001, approximately 243,000 individuals have lost their lives in the Afghanistan/Pakistan warzone, with civilians accounting for over 70,000 of these casualties. Recently, the Afghan Army Chief has claimed intermittent violations of Afghan airspace by U.S. drones strikes in its territory.

Allegations of U.S. Violations in Afghan Airspace

Afghanistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Qari Fasihuddin Fitrat, accuses the United States of violating the country’s airspace, claiming that American drones occasionally enter Afghan airspace.

Fitrat refrains from naming the neighboring country he holds responsible for permitting U.S. drone operations over Afghanistan.

Status of Afghan Armed Forces and Government Efforts

Despite the U.S.-led forces withdrawing in August 2021, Fitrat asserts that American drones continue to patrol Afghan airspace. He highlights the strength of the Afghan armed forces at 500,000 personnel, encompassing the army, police, and intelligence.

The current national army, under the Afghan caretaker government, is reportedly to 172,000-strong, with ongoing efforts to increase this number to 200,000.

Also read: Explosion Rocks Taliban Security Compound in Afghanistan

Consequences of Prolonged U.S. Presence and Humanitarian Impact

The prolonged U.S. war in Afghanistan led to severe consequences; a breakdown in the economy, public health, security, and infrastructure. The conflict resulted in widespread impoverishment, with 92% of the population facing food insecurity.

There are 3 million children at risk of acute malnutrition, and some regions also experiencing famine.

Furthermore, the relaxation of rules of engagement for airstrikes in 2017 contributed to a dramatic increase in civilian casualties. Afghan militia groups armed by the CIA have been implicated in serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings of civilians.