KABUL (SW) - The U.S. Forces - Afghanistan on Tuesday clarified there have been no orders to limit nearly all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces amid ongoing negotiations with the insurgents.
Quoting senior Pentagon officials, Newsweek reported on Monday 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.
The withdrawal figure is subject to change, however, depending on the course of the ongoing conflict and the talks trying to end it, US officials said as quoted by Newsweek.
However, USFOR-A Spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett rejected these reports. “This article (Newsweek article) is inaccurate and speculative, citing unnamed sources who are likely as far from the subject as they are from Afghanistan itself.” Col. Leggett added “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.”
This comes as the U.S. and Taliban concluded 8th round of talks for peace in Afghanistan in the Qatari capital, Doha on Monday.