Won’t let ISIS rebuild its “terror caliphate” in Afghanistan: NATO

NATO can’t allow ISIS (Daesh) to rebuild its “terror caliphate” it lost in Syria and Iraq again in Afghanistan, said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg as reported by TOLOnews

Nov 24, 2020
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NATO can’t allow ISIS (Daesh) to rebuild its “terror caliphate” it lost in Syria and Iraq again in Afghanistan, said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg as reported by TOLOnews. The comment came while the secretary-general was addressing the 66th NATO Parliament Assembly on Monday. Stoltenberg said the alliance is committed to supporting Afghan forces in Afghanistan. 

“One of the reasons we need a strong military is for our fight against international terrorism. As we have been doing in Afghanistan for almost 20 years,” he was as saying by TOLOnews.

Recently, the United States announced a further drawdown of the US troops from Afghanistan, leaving its NATO alliance in a fix. NATO which reiterated its commitment to support Afghan forces would face significant operational restrictions due to US withdrawal. 

“We will be faced with a difficult choice,” Stoltenberg said. “Either stay – and pay the price of a continued military engagement. Or leave – and risk that the gains we have made are lost. And that the peace process falters.” 

Experts suggested even if NATO decides to remain militarily engaged in Afghanistan, its presence won't be as effective as it was earlier when it had operated along with US troops. 

NATO relies on the US for air support, logistics support, and medical support to operate in Afghanistan. Also, the cost of being engaged without US would be too high. 

Under the US-Taliban deal signed on 29 February, the Taliban was expected to reduce violence in Afghanistan and the group was asked not to capture or attack provincial centres in Afghanistan. 

The Taliban, however, departed from both the promises made in the February deal and attacked almost half a dozen provincial centres in Afghanistan.  

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