Zalmay Khalilzad
Zalmay Khalilzad

US never targets innocents: Zalmay Khalilzad on UN report

ANI | Updated: Apr 25, 2019 23:05 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Apr 25 (ANI): Asserting that his country never targets innocents, US peace envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday said Washington is "distressed" after the release of the United Nations reports that have stated that Afghan forces and their US allies had killed more civilians in Afghanistan than the Taliban and the Islamic State.
"We are distressed by reports of civilian casualties, each one an unnecessary victim of a war that has gone too long. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends. Their deaths outrage us all and we stand with Afghans who protest the deaths and want to end the bloodshed," Khalilzad tweeted. 

Advocating "ceasefire" as the only solution for reducing casualties, Khalilzad said, "We deeply regret any loss of innocent life during military operations. We never target innocents. War is treacherous and unintended consequences are devastating. While we strive to prevent casualties, the real solution is a ceasefire or reduced violence as we pursue a lasting peace."

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan report highlights that at least 305 civilians have been killed by the forces of the two countries during the first three months of this year, as compared to the 227 killed by the Taliban and other insurgents.
“UNAMA urges both the Afghan national security forces and international military forces to conduct investigations into allegations of civilian casualties to publish the results of their findings, and to provide compensation to victims as appropriate,” the report stated.
"The Taliban say 'a ceasefire is not part of the agenda.' For us, peace is the agenda. The Afghan people have had enough violence and want an end to the war. The United States stands with them. I challenge Talibs to join other Afghans and work to make this the year of peace," Khalilzad added. (ANI)