The United States will almost halve the military presence in Afghanistan
US reduces troops in Afghanistan and Iraq | DW News
About this Voice of America General Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said
The United States will reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan from 8,600 to about 4,500 by early November, the head of US Central Command said in an interview on Wednesday. «Voice of America». A few hours earlier, Marine Corps General Kenneth Frank Mackenzie announced the withdrawal of some of the troops from Iraq this month..
«At the level of 4,500 [troops in Afghanistan], we will still be able to carry out the main task, and we have shown more than enough goodwill in our willingness to demonstrate that we do not want to be an occupying force in this country. But we have strategic interests, vital interests that make us believe that organizations like “Al-Qaeda” and IS will not be able to deploy there to attack the United States», – said the head of Central Command in an interview «Voice of America».
In July, General Mackenzie told the reporter «Voices of America» the need to start an intra-Afghan dialogue, as well as the fact that a significant reduction in the American contingent can only be discussed after the United States has confidence that «Taliban» will not allow terrorist groups into the territory of Afghanistan «Al-qaeda» and «Islamic State».
On Wednesday, Mackenzie admitted that the Taliban «still have not proven conclusively that they are going to break with “Al-Qaeda” and continue to harass Afghan security forces».
The rival Afghan factions were expected to begin the first direct peace talks in Qatar this week to end the war in Afghanistan..
Earlier Wednesday, Mackenzie announced during a visit to Iraq that the US military presence in the country would be reduced from 5,200 to 3,000 soldiers and officers..
Meanwhile, in Kabul on Wednesday, at least 10 people were killed and dozens more injured in the assassination attempt on Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh. His armored car was blown up by a mine planted on the road. Saleh received only minor injuries. Several of his bodyguards were injured and hospitalized. Akmal Samsur, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said «Voice of America», that the number of victims of the assassination attempt may increase.
According to eyewitnesses, a nearby store selling gas cylinders caught fire from the burning debris, causing a second explosion.