U.S. troops still won't perform a complete withdraw from Afghanistan as the Taliban has not yet met the conditions required to it, commander for the Middle East Gen. Frank McKenzie said on Wednesday.
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Even when there are supposedly less than 9000 soldiers in the Middle East country and, as reported by Mckenzie, 8,600 of them could return to the U.S in July, the drawdown is subject to a very specific condition, in order to preserve the integrity of the troops.
“Those conditions would be: Can we be assured that attacks against us will not be generated there? And as of right now … frankly, if asked my opinion, those conditions have not been fully met,” he said.
U.S military forces first stepped ashore in Afghanistan in October 2001, a month after the 9-11 attacks. Even when the Taliban hosted Al-Qaida in afghan soil while they were plotting the terrorist attacks, Mckenzie stressed that they have never posed a threat to the U.S.
“It’s the entities that they allow to live in Afghanistan that threatens us,” he pointed out, referring to Islamic State group’s Afghan affiliate and Al-Qaida. “We believe the Taliban actually are no friends of ISIS and work against them.” Although, McKenzie sent a warning: “It is less clear to me that they will take the same action against al-Qaida.”
The withdrawal takes place amidst the Afghan peace process. On this topic, President Donald Trump has said that U.S troops in the country are just playing a police role, stressing out his decision to bring them all home, as part of his political campaign.
“Bring our soldiers back home but closely watch what is going on and strike with a thunder-like never before, if necessary!” he tweeted.