AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: General John Nicholson, US top commander in Afghanistan has requested for more troops to prevent the country from becoming a safe hideout for the Islamic State (IS), which is also known as Daesh terrorist group. He said that the US and Europe need to send 5,000 more forces to Afghanistan.
“We cannot afford to walk away from Afghanistan,” Nicholson told The Sunday Times of London. “This is where the war against terrorism started on 9/11. Failure here would embolden terrorist globally.” Nicholson will ask for additional troops at NATO Summit in May with the backing of US Defense Secretary, James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, the report said.
Currently, 8,400 US troops and 5,000 troops from other NATO countries are stationed in Afghanistan. The call for more troops has come when recently US has decided to deploy about 300 US marines to Afghanistan’s embattled southern Helmand province as part of a NATO mission to train and advise local forces.
The soldiers will train and advise Afghan security forces pushing back against Taliban fighters who have taken most of Helmand after the end of NATO’s combat mission and withdrawal of most US forces from the province in 2014. Almost all of the Helmand’s districts, expect for the provincial capital, Lashkargah, are either heavily embattled or fully controlled by the Taliban insurgents.
Recently local officials said that the Taliban has captured Sangin, a strategic district of Helmand province on Thursday. According to them, the Afghan security forces have retreated from district to avoid civilian casualties.
Provincial council member, Bashir Ahmad Shaker said, “Afghan security forces retracted from Sangin and it took them three days to move to Shaker Shila area, they left behind military equipment which were not usable and were destroyed by the airstrikes after they left the area.”