(AFGHANISTAN) #Taliban Invasion Report: According to last estimate media reports the Taliban have taken 23 of 34 provincial capitals as US, U.K. and Australia move in transport planes to take out their citizens to safety #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.15: The #Taliban have begun entering the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul “from all sides”, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry….

#AceDailyNews says the Taliban began entering Afghan capital Kabul from all sides and three Afghan officials said they were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman in Kabul and it comes just hours after they took control of the key eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad without a fight: The insurgents now control 23 of 34 provincial capitals. What’s happening in Kabul? More than a quarter of a million people have been displaced by the fighting and many have sought refuge in Kabul.

In a pre-recorded TV address on Saturday, President Ashraf Ghani said a top priority was the remobilisation of the Afghan armed forces to prevent further destruction and displacement of people.The speech came amid speculation by some that Mr Ghani might have been about to announce his resignation.

Displaced Afghan women and children from Kunduz pray at a mosque that is sheltering them on August 13, 2021 in Kabul
Many Afghans who have fled the fighting have sought refuge in Kabul

The Taliban have moved closer to retaking full control of Afghanistan, with the capital Kabul now the only major city left in government hands: On Sunday the militants took control of Jalalabad, a key eastern city, without a fight.

It followed the seizure of the government’s northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif just a day earlier.

The rapid collapse of government forces has left President Ashraf Ghani under growing pressure to resign.

He appears to face a stark choice between surrender or a fight to hold the capital.

Meanwhile, the US has begun evacuating members of staff from its embassy in Kabul. On Sunday morning they were being taken to the airport where they have been seen boarding six large military transport planes. The US has deployed 5,000 troops to help with the operation.

President Joe Biden has defended his decision to escalate the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying he could not justify an “endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict”.

What happened in Jalalabad?

Reports on Sunday morning said the Taliban overran the city, the capital of Nangarhar province, without a shot being fired.

“There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban,” a local Afghan official told Reuters news agency.

“Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives.”

Journalist Tariq Ghazniwal tweeted images purportedly showing the provincial governor handing over control to the Taliban.

The capture of Jalalabad means the Taliban have secured the roads connecting the country with Pakistan.It came hours after Mazar-i-Sharif – the capital of Balkh province and fourth-largest city in Afghanistan – also fell largely without a fight.Abas Ebrahimzada, a lawmaker from Balkh, told the Associated Press news agency that the national army were the first to surrender, which then prompted pro-government forces and other militia to give up.

Some who had fled areas controlled by the Taliban said militants there were demanding families hand over unmarried girls and women to become wives for their fighters.Muzhda, 35, a single woman who fled from Parwan to Kabul with her two sisters, said she would take her own life rather than let the Taliban force her to marry.”I am crying day and night,” she told AFP news agency.

Women from Taliban-held areas have also described being forced to wear burkas – one-piece veils that cover the face and body – and militants are reported to have beaten people for breaking social rules.

President Ashraf Ghani: ”The reintegration of the security and defence forces is our priority””God forbid we will see war in Kabul,” city resident Sayed Akbar, 53, told the New York Times. “People here have gone through 40 years of sorrows. The roads on which we are walking are built on people’s bones.” One 17-year-old, named only as Abdullah, told AFP news agency that he and his family had fled the northern city of Kunduz after it was seized by the Taliban and were now sleeping under a tent in a Kabul park.He said he and other youths in Kunduz had been forced into carrying rocket-propelled grenades and other munitions for the militants.

AFPAfghan police are manning checkpoints in Kabul residents have formed long queues at banks trying to withdraw their savings. Some branches have reportedly already run out of money.

There were also reports of a riot at Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of the capital, with local residents saying gunfire was heard from the facility.

A Taliban official told Reuters the group did not want any casualties as it took charge but had not declared a ceasefire.

The militants later pledged not to take the capital “by force” as sporadic gunfire could be heard in the capital.

US embassy personnel were evacuated by helicopter and are now working from Kabul airport.

Several EU staff have been moved to an undisclosed location in the capital, US officials said.

More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban’s lightning advances brought the Islamist group to Kabul in a matter of days.

US officials said diplomats were being ferried to the airport from the embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district.

A young middle eastern man in a blue traditional suit walks in middle of street with woman on motorbike behind.
The Taliban have taken control of the majority of Afghanistan’s cities.(AFP)

Just last week, a US intelligence estimate said Kabul could hold out for at least three months:

The capture of Jalalabad followed the Taliban’s seizure of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif late on Saturday, also with little fighting.

A man in a white head wrap speaks at a podium.
President Ashraf Ghani vowed not to give up Afghanistan’s “achievements” of the last 20 years. (Reuters)

President Ashraf Ghani, who spoke to the nation on Saturday local time for the first time since the offensive began, appears increasingly isolated.

Warlords he negotiated with just days earlier have surrendered to the Taliban or fled, leaving Mr Ghani without a military option.

Ongoing negotiations in Qatar, the site of a Taliban office, also have failed to stop the insurgents’ advance.

US President Joe Biden on Saturday authorised the deployment of 5,000 troops to help evacuate citizens and ensure an “orderly and safe” drawdown of US military personnel.

In his speech, Mr Ghani vowed not to give up the “achievements” of the 20 years since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban after the September 11 attacks.

“We have started consultations, inside the government with elders and political leaders, representatives of different levels of the community as well as our international allies,” Mr Ghani said.

“Soon the results will be shared with you,” he added, without elaborating further.

A beautiful golden mosque with blue domes can be seen at the centre of a paved square.
Mazar-i-Sharif is Afghanistan’s fourth largest city.(ABC News: Farshad Usyan )

Many Afghans fear a return to the Taliban’s oppressive rule under a harsh version of Islamic law in which women were forbidden to work or attend school.

The group had previously governed Afghanistan under a harsh version of Islamic law in which women were forbidden to work or attend school, and could not leave their homes without a male relative accompanying them.

Salima Mazari, one of the few female district governors in the country, expressed fears about a Taliban takeover during an interview from Mazar-e-Sharif before it fell.

“There will be no place for women,” Ms Mazari said.

“In the provinces controlled by the Taliban, no women exist there anymore, not even in the cities. They are all imprisoned in their homes.”

An Afghan woman and her child photographed in Jawzjan province.
There are concerns that Afghanistan’s women will have fewer rights in a return to Taliban rule.(ABC News: Sally Sara)

In a statement late on Saturday, however, the Taliban insisted its fighters would not enter people’s homes or interfere with businesses.

It also said it would offer an “amnesty” to those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.

“The Islamic Emirate once again assures all its citizens that it will, as always, protect their life, property and honour, and create a peaceful and secure environment for its beloved nation,” the militants said.

“In this regard, no-one should worry about their life.”

Despite the pledge, those who can afford a ticket have been flocking to Kabul International Airport, the only way out of the country.

Wires/ABC/BBC/Reuters/AFP/

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #australia, #kabul, #troops, #u-k-u-s

(AFGHANISTAN) U.S Troop Withdrawal Report: #Taliban move into Balkh district north of capital and distrubute leaflets ordering locals to follow strict rules that are similar to those they imposed on Afghans when they last governed the country from 1996 to 2001 #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.15: Many Afghans who hoped the #Taliban would reform their extreme views amid ongoing talks with the Afghan government and the U.S. troop withdrawal have been disappointed by the new severe restrictions imposed on the local population in some of the districts that they have recently captured.

AFGHANISTAN: #Taliban impose new restrictions on women, force men to grow beards according to Media In Afghanistan’s North,” by Gul Rahim Niazman and Roshan Noorzai, VOA News, July 9, 2021:

Several residents of Balkh, a district in northern Balkh province that is located 20 kilometers north of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, confirmed to VOA that the Taliban have distributed leaflets, ordering locals to follow strict rules that are similar to those they imposed on Afghans when they last governed the country from 1996 to 2001.

“They want to impose the restrictions that were imposed on women under their rule,” said Nahida, a 34-year-old resident of Balkh district, adding that the restrictions targeting women include “not leaving our houses without a male companion and wearing hijab.”

Before their ouster by the United States in 2001, the Taliban mandated Afghans follow a strict interpretation of Sharia law, forcing women to cover themselves from head to foot and preventing them from leaving their houses without a male companion.

That changed after 2001 when the new Afghan government, supported by U.S.-led forces, introduced laws to encourage more girls to attend school and to have more women participate in the workforce.

Nahida, who requested to be identified by her pseudonym due to safety concerns, said the group’s new restrictions will be difficult for women to follow “since many of them are the breadwinners of their families and they have to work outside.”…

Since May, when the United States and NATO began withdrawing their remaining troops, the Taliban captured about 100 of Afghanistan’s more than 400 districts from government-allied forces. Afghan officials have since vowed to retake the lost districts.

Another resident of Balkh, who requested anonymity due to fears of retaliation by the militants, said “salons were ordered not to shave or trim beards” when the Taliban controlled the district last month.

“It is possible that they impose more restrictions. In some of the mosques, during the Friday sermons, Mullahs say that the Sharia law should be implemented,” another Balkh resident told VOA.

In several districts of Takhar, Badakhshan, and Kunduz province that came under the Taliban control recently, local reports claim the Taliban issued similar restrictions on women and forced men to grow beards….

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #troops, #washington

(KABUL) Troop Withdrawal Report: From 9/11, to intense fighting on the ground, and now full withdrawal of US-led forces, here’s what happened in that timeline #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.08: US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. There are strong indications that the withdrawal may be complete before the official deadline.

Timeline: #Taliban battle their way into western Afghan city as U.S. troops are preparing to leave Afghanistan by no later than 11th September 2021: The anniversary of 9/11

The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble
It all began here:

9/11

11 September 2001

Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, carries out the largest terror attack ever conducted on US soil.Image caption The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble Image copyright by Getty

Four commercial airliners are hijacked. Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.

First air strikes

7 October 2001

A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.

The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over Bin Laden. Their air defences and small fleet of fighter aircraft are destroyed.

Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat

Fall of Kabul

13 November 2001

The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city.Image caption Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat Image copyright by Getty

By the 13 November 2001, all Taliban have either fled or been neutralised. Other cities quickly fall.

New constitution

26 January 2004

After protracted negotiations at a “loya jirga” or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.

Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president

Hamid Karzai becomes president

7 December 2004Image caption Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president Image copyright by Getty

Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He serves two five-year terms as president.

Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand

UK troops deployed to Helmand

May 2006

British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.Image caption Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand Image copyright by Getty

Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are quickly drawn into combat operations. More than 450 British troops lose their lives in Afghanistan over the course of the conflict.

US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country

Obama’s surge

17 February 2009

US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000.Image caption US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country Image copyright by Getty

The so-called “surge” is modelled on US strategy in Iraq where US forces focussed on protecting the civilian population as well as killing insurgent fighters.

Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy

Osama Bin Laden killed

2 May 2011Image caption Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy Image copyright by Getty

The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.

The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s

Death of Mullah Omar

23 April 2013

The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, dies. His death is kept secret for more than two years.Image caption The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s Image copyright by EPA

According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar dies of health problems at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies that he was in the country.

Nato ends combat operations

28 December 2014

At a ceremony in Kabul, Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops.  Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces.

Kabul's international airport is struck on 10 August 2015

Taliban resurgence

2015

The Taliban launch a series of suicide attacks, car bombings and other assaults. The parliament building in Kabul, and the city of Kunduz are attacked. Islamic State militants begin operations in Afghanistan.Image caption Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015 Image copyright by Getty

Death toll announcement

25 January 2019

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. The figure is far higher than previously thought.

The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal

US signs deal with Taliban

29 February 2020

The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.Image caption The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal Image copyright by Getty

Date for final withdrawal

11 September 2021

US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. There are strong indications that the withdrawal may be complete before the official deadline.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: July.08: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#9-11, #afghanistan, #kabul, #troops, #u-s

(WASHINGTON) Troop Withdrawal Report: As DoD has said that the last US and NATO forces have left Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, the epicentre of the war against jihadist militants for some 20 years #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.03: The pull-out could signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is imminent: But the withdrawal from the sprawling base, north of Kabul, comes as the main jihadist group, the Taliban, advances in many parts of Afghanistan.

#AceDailyNews reports that in Bagram that the US and Nato forces leave key Afghanistan base on Thursday but according to AFP: U.S air force was still using Bagram on Thursday and President Joe Biden has said US forces will be gone by Sept.11: 2021: the deadline is the anniversary of the attacks on America in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

The attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, an international jihadist group then based in Afghanistan with the support of the Taliban, who had been in control of the country since the 1990s. A US-led coalition invaded the Afghanistan later that year to defeat both groups now how can the West fight terror after leaving

America now wants to end its longest war with its huge cost in human lives and vast expense, and is leaving security to the Afghan government. 

Some 2,500-3,500 US troops were thought to be still in Afghanistan until recently, and they are due to depart along with some 7,000 other coalition troops, leaving fewer than 1,000 American soldiers in the country.

Meanwhile, a resurgent Taliban, buoyed by the expectation of the foreign withdrawal, has overrun dozens of districts, amid fears that a new civil war could erupt after the departure of foreign forces in year of violence on the road to peace

A top target for the Taliban Bagram is a bellwether of what’s to come: This symbol of American military might was once a stronghold of Soviet forces. Now Afghan security forces will soon confront the challenge of securing this sprawling city within a city. Bagram is vital – in symbolic and strategic ways. Taliban fighters, advancing in districts across the country, have this prize in their sights. Even last October, residents of the town which has swelled all around it told us the Taliban were already in their midst.On a recent visit to the base, as the US packed up, we heard how Afghan security forces saw it as a mixed blessing.

There’s a wealth of military assets within its walls; but that treasure is a top target for Taliban, not to mention corrupt commanders and others eying this fortune: For the countless Afghans whose lives and livelihoods have long banked on this base – and who now feel abandoned – Bagram’s new chapter is deeply worrying. Why is Bagram so important?

The airfield, built up by the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s, and named after a nearby village, lies around 40km (25 miles) north of Kabul: The US-led coalition forces moved in during December 2001, and it was developed into a huge base capable of holding up to 10,000 troops.

It is served by two runways, the most recent of which is 3.6km long, where large cargo and bomber aircraft can land: It has 110 parking spots for aircraft, which are protected by blast walls, and had a 50-bed hospital with a trauma bay, three operating theatres and a modern dental clinic, the Associated Press reports.From May 2021:

Top US commander General Scott Miller reflects on Nato forces’ time in Afghanistan ahead of its departureIts hangars and buildings included the main prison facility for people detained by US forces at the height of the conflict, which became known as Afghanistan’s Guantanamo – after the infamous US military prison in Cuba: Bagram was one of the sites identified in a US Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects, including the use of torture, carried out in detention facilities: Bagram ex-detainees say they still bear the scars

What happens next? An official ceremony to mark the handover of Bagram is expected to be held on Saturday, an Afghan official told Reuters news agency. About 650 US troops are expected to remain in the country, the Associated Press reports, to provide protection for diplomats and help guard Kabul’s international airport, a vital transport hub for the landlocked country:

They are guarding the airport alongside troops from America’s Nato ally Turkey, while a new agreement for its security is negotiated with the Afghan government: The airport’s US protection includes a counter-rocket, artillery, mortar system and the troops to operate it, as well as helicopter support.Other American troops will guard the US Embassy in Kabul.Military analysts say the ability of the Afghan government to maintain control over Bagram will be vital to its efforts to defend Kabul and push back the Taliban.

While the Taliban stopped attacks on coalition forces after signing an agreement with the US in February of last year, they have continued fighting government forces. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, welcomed the US withdrawal from Bagram, telling AFP news agency it would “pave the way for Afghans to decide about their future between themselves” that a war is thought to have taken the lives of more than 47,000 Afghan civilians and nearly 70,000 Afghan troops, as well as the lives of 2,442 US soldiers and more than 3,800 US private security contractors, and 1,144 soldiers from other coalition countries. The Costs of War project at Brown University, which analyses America’s wars this century, estimates that the war has cost America a total of $2.26tn (£1.64tn).

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.03: 2021:

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.03: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #nato, #taliban, #troops, #us, #washington

KABUL: ‘ GHANI SAYS US MIGHT WANT TO RE-EXAMINE DEADLINE OF TROOP REMOVAL ‘

#AceWorldNews – KABUL:Jan.05: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the United States might want to “re-examine” the timetable for removing the remaining U.S.-led coalition troops in the country by the end of 2016.

“Deadlines concentrate the mind. But deadlines should not be dogmas,” Ghani told the CBS program “60 Minutes” when asked about the issue.

#ANS2015

#troops, #us-led-coalition, #withdrawal

NIGERIA: ‘ BOKO HARAM SIEZE TOWN & MILITARY BASE AS TROOPS LEAVE POSTS ‘

#AceWorldNews – NIGERIA:Jan.04: The militant group Boko Haram has seized a town and key multinational military base in north-eastern Nigeria, officials and eyewitnesses say.

A senator in Borno state said troops had abandoned the base in the town of Baga after it was attacked on Saturday. 

Residents of Baga, who fled by boat to neighbouring Chad, said many people had been killed and the town set ablaze. Baga, scene of a Nigerian army massacre in 2013, was the last town in the Borno North area under government control.

It hosted the base of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), made up of troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger.Set up in 1998 to fight trans-border crime in the Lake Chad region, the force more recently took on Boko Haram.

Boko Haram attacks towns and villages on an almost daily basis, abducting people including young boys and girls, BBC Africa editor Mary Harper reports. The military, which includes Western advisers and surveillance, seems incapable of dealing with the problem, our editor adds.

#ANS2015

#baga, #boko-haram, #chad, #militants, #troops

KASHMIR: ‘ MILITANTS ATTACK INDIAN ARMY CAMP KILLING TEN TROOPS ‘

#AceWorldNews – KASHMIR – Dec.05 – Militants attacked an Indian army camp in disputed Kashmir on Friday morning, and a gun battle left 10 Indian troops and three suspected gunmen dead, AP reported.

Up to six rebels tried to enter an artillery unit of the camp in Uri region, hurling grenades and firing automatic rifles.

The camp is also the regional headquarters of the army’s artillery regiment.

It sprawls near the militarized line of control that divides the Himalayan region between Indian and Pakistani sides.

#ANS2014 

#attack, #gun-battle, #troops

AFGHANISTAN: ‘ APPROVES US & NATO AGREEMENTS ALLOWING TROOPS TO STAY IN COUNTRY ‘

#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – Nov.28 – Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament approved two agreements on Thursday with the US and NATO, allowing about 12,500 troops to remain in the country, AFP said.

The lower house of parliament approved the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US, and a similar pact with NATO, on Sunday.

President Ashraf Ghani signed the deals on his first day in power, while previous president, Hamid Karzai, had vigorously resisted the move.

#ANS2014 

#agreements, #nato, #troops, #us

OBAMA’S SECRET ORDER UPDATE: ‘ PENTAGON PRESS BRIEFING ON TROOPS BEING SENT TO IRAQ ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Nov.23 – Following on from previous post earlier and the Press Release about Obama’s secret order report.

Just received this update: Pentagon reversed a decision to delay deploying 1,500 troops to Iraq until Congress approved $5.6 billion in funding to pay for their missions. 

“We can deploy troops to the theatre, but — so that — that process can and will continue,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby at a briefing Thursday. 

Kirby said Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, has also moved about 50 U.S. forces within Iraq to Anbar Province to get a “jump start” on expanding the advise-and-assist mission, as well as on starting to train Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic militants.

“But it doesn’t mean that we still don’t need the authorization in terms of the resources that will go with the much more robust program that we’re trying to get done,” Kirby said. “He can start it and he is.”

President Obama ordered 1,500 more troops to Iraq on Nov. 7, which would double the total number of forces there to more than 3,000. 

Congress is expected to approve the funds as part of a spending bill that’s must-pass legislation to avoid a government shut-down next month. However, exactly when that will happen is unclear.

There is also some concern that the deployment needs to be sped up to capitalize on recent gains by Iraqi forces.

“One, it’s important and we wanted to get it started,” Kirby said. “No. 2, it sends an important signal both to the Iraqis and to coalition partners of how seriously we’re taking this.”

“And the sooner we get started, the sooner Iraqi units will improve in their capability and the sooner we’ll get coalition contributions to that particular mission,” he said. 

#ANS2014 

#deploying, #secret-report, #spending, #troops

NATO: ‘ AFGHANISTAN PARLIAMENT APPROVE TROOPS STAYING BEYOND 2014 ‘

#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – Nov.23 – Following closely on from my post about Germany increasing their troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

The parliament of Afghanistan approved an agreement that allows troops of the NATO-led coalition to say in the country beyond 2014. The agreement was suspended in mid-air for months, as former President Hamid Karzai refused to sign it during his term.

The new agreement, ratified Sunday, allows the ISAF to maintain a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year. After a 152-5 vote, Nazifullah Salarzai, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said the foreign troops will “train, advise and assist Afghan security forces.”

“Afghan forces are responsible for the security and defense of the Afghan people, and in the fight against international terrorism and training of our national security forces we count on the support and assistance of our international partners,” he said, AP reported.

#ANS2014

#defence, #forces, #foreign, #security, #training, #troops

‘ OBAMA SECRETLY SIGNS ORDER EXTENDING COMBAT ROLE IN AFGHANISTAN – REPORTS ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.22 – President Barack Obama has secretly signed an order that expands the United States’ direct combat role in Afghanistan throughout 2015, the New York Times reported.

Signed over the last few weeks, the secret order permits American forces to continue to battle the Taliban and other militants that pose a threat to either the Afghan government or US personnel. According to the Times, US jets, bombers, and drones will be able to aid ground troops – be they Afghan or US forces – in whatever mission they undertake.

Under the order, ground troops could join Afghan troops on missions, and airstrikes could be carried out in their support. 

If true it would appear that the number of troops that will be operating in Afghanistan next year will remain unchanged from previous plans.

There will be 9,800 soldiers left throughout next year, and that number will be cut in half by the end of the year.

By the end of 2016, the remaining troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan, ending the US military presence in the country.

#ANS2014 

#military, #support, #troops, #us-forces

GERMANY: ‘ PLANNING INCREASE IN TROOP NUMBERS IN AFGHANISTAN TO TRAIN LOCALS ‘

#AceWorldNews – GERMANY – Nov.18 – According to a NATO press release Germany plans to keep up to 850 soldiers in Afghanistan in 2015 to help train local armed forces. 

A German Defence Ministry spokesman on Tuesday confirmed a Sueddeutsche Zeitung report that the number had been revised up slightly.

The German military will continue to be responsible for the international mission in northern Afghanistan, he said.

Germany has had some 3,200 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led mission, and Berlin had been planning to reduce that to a force of 600 to 800 soldiers from January. 

#ANS2014 

#mission, #train, #troops

“France Plans to Boost Troops in `Central African Republic’ – Reports”

#AceWorldNews says France plans to increase the number of troops it has deployed in the Central African Republic, Reuters quoted a French source as saying Friday.

A meeting on the matter took place at the Elysee presidential palace. It is not clear how many troops will be added to the existing 1,600-strong French force in the former colony.

#central-african-republic, #france, #reuters, #troops