AT News Report
KABUL: The US and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller has rebuffed a report published in Newsweek that claims, “operations against the militant group in Afghanistan have significantly reduced or halted as the Pentagon continues to plan for a potential withdrawal of thousands of US forces.”
Gen Miller in a statement on Tuesday not only rejected the report but said they have no such orders and have made no such changes.
“This article is inaccurate and speculative, citing unnamed sources who are likely as far from the subject as they are from Afghanistan itself. The characterizations of changes to our authorities and operations have no basis in fact. We have no such orders and have made no such changes,” Miller added.
Quoting senior Pentagon officials, Newsweek reported that US personnel have been ordered to limit nearly all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as the Trump administration proposes cutting US troop strength in Afghanistan by nearly half to 6,000 as a means of finalizing “technical” details among Taliban leadership.
This comes as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad fled from Qatar to Washington DC after concluding eight round of talks with Taliban started in August third.
“Over the last few days, the two sides focused on technical details. They were productive,” ambassador Khalilzad tweeted.
Moreover, in his Eid message, Khalilzad hoped this was the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war. “I know Afghans yearn for peace. We stand with them and are working hard toward a lasting and honorable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which impose no threat to any other country,” he said.
“Many scholars believe that the deeper meaning of Eid al-Hadha is to sacrifice one’s ego. Leaders on all sides of the war in Afghanistan must take this to heart as we strive for peace. My very best wishes,” he tweeted.