The United States condemns the killing of the Afghan commandos at the hands of the Taliban group, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, adding that there is no doubt that the footage circulated by media was authentic.
Earlier in the day, CNN posted a video allegedly showing Taliban fighters execute 22 members of the Afghan Special Forces unit. The killings reportedly took place on June 16 in Faryab province, in the north of the country close to Turkmenistan.
The Taliban, in the meantime, denied the executions.
“The video – which I should say we don’t have any reason to doubt – depicts horrifying scenes, the killing – in this case – the slaughter of unarmed individuals is an atrocious act, an outrageous sight and of course, we condemn it,” Price said.
Afghanistan is seeing a spike in violence from the Taliban as international troops are gradually being withdrawn from the country.
The troop pullout was one of the points of agreement the Taliban and the United States reached in Doha in February of last year. In early July, the Pentagon said that the US has withdrawn over 95% of American military personnel and equipment from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden will meet with the former commander of the US forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller later to thank him for his service, White House Press spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Miller was the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan since September 2018, making him the longest-serving military commander during the United States’ 20-year presence in Afghanistan.
“The President will meet with General Miller today to thank the General for his extraordinary service in Afghanistan,” Psaki said on Wednesday. “As the final commander of the Resolute Support Mission, General Miller oversaw the vast majority of our drawdown from Afghanistan, which is a particularly vulnerable period for our troops.”
Last week, Miller stepped down from his post and transferred the authority of American forces in Afghanistan to US Central Command (CENTCOM) head Frank McKenzie.
Earlier this week, CENTCOM said the withdrawal process of US forces from Afghanistan is more than 95 percent complete. The entire retrograde process is expected to be complete by August 31.
The Taliban are increasing their attacks against Afghan government forces as US and NATO forces withdraw from the country. The withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan was one of the points agreed to between the Taliban and the United States in Doha in February of last year.