Taliban announce annual spring offensive

The Taliban on Friday announced their annual spring offensive, which comes as the U.S. and Afghan politicians try to negotiate a peace settlement with the Islamist militants.

Operation Fath – meaning “victory” in Arabic – will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of “eradicating occupation” and “cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption,” the Taliban said in a statement.

The spring offensive traditionally marks the start of the so-called fighting season, though the announcement is largely symbolic as in recent winters the Taliban have continued fighting Afghan and U.S. forces.

“Our Jihadi obligation has not yet ended,” the Taliban said.

“Even as large parts of our homeland have been freed from the enemy, yet the foreign occupying forces continue exercising military and political influence in our Islamic country.”