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US not 'walking away' from Afghanistan, says Pentagon

ANI | Updated: May 26, 2021 00:45 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], May 26 (ANI): As the US and its allies continue to pull out troops from Afghanistan, Pentagon has said that United States' commitment to the region is not wavering.
"Just because we are removing our troops and our -- and ending our military mission in Afghanistan doesn't mean that we're walking away from the region. Nothing could be further from the truth," Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Monday.
"There's still going to be a robust United States presence in the Middle East, in the Central Com -- Central Command area of responsibility," Kirby added.
The US and coalition forces started withdrawing from the country on May 1 and some bases have been handed over to Afghan forces. As the drawdown continues, the Afghan government has reported a surge in violence in the country.
Separately, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said that NATO remains committed to its partnership with Afghanistan and will continue to contribute to the peace efforts.

"The drawdown of our troops continues in an orderly and coordinated way. At the same time, NATO remains committed to our partnership with Afghanistan. And we will continue to help the Afghan people and contribute to the peace efforts," Stoltenberg said at a news conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
Meanwhile, the Afghan security forces are currently fighting the Taliban in 104 provinces, following the recent increase compared to the same period last year, TOLO news reported.
Ahmad Zia Saraj, the head of the Afghan intelligence agency--the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that the Taliban has launched 3,500 attacks since the start of the year.
Afghanistan has seen a spike in the incidents of violence in recent weeks, leading to casualties of Afghan security forces and civilians. US withdrawal set to complete by September 11.
Heavy clashes are continuing in the five provinces including Baghlan, Helmand, Kunduz, Kandahar and Laghman, over the last few weeks. (ANI)