US begins troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: US official
They will be replaced by the Afghan military and police
Afghanistan and the United States have reached an agreement to withdraw US troops from Wardak province and replace them with Afghan security forces, General Joseph Dunford told reporters Wednesday..
Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the expulsion of American troops from the province after local residents accused the military of torturing and killing civilians. The United States vehemently denied these allegations.
The United States opposed the withdrawal of troops from the area, fearing that a sudden withdrawal would allow the militants to strengthen their presence here and use this territory as a base for attacks on Kabul, which is only 25 kilometers away..
Karzai also accused the US and NATO of trying to secure an agreement between the Taliban and its political opponents..
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called accusations of collusion between international forces and the Taliban “absolutely ridiculous”.
Meanwhile, International Security Assistance Force spokesman Gunter Katz said on Monday that NATO will eventually hand over responsibility for security in Wardak province, but the alliance’s “Afghan partners” should take the lead in developing a transition plan..
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