US forces in Afghanistan no longer targeting Taliban
The US viewed the insurgent group as an important partner in its efforts for bringing peace and stability to the war-ravaged country, the Pentagon spokesman told reporters in Washington.
Pakistani and foreign media reports quoted Navy Captain Jeff Davis as saying: “What we’re not doing (is) counter-terrorism operations against the Taliban.”
While seeing the Taliban as an important partner in a peaceful Afghan-led reconciliation process, the spokesman said American troops were not actively targeting the group.
“As you know, we ended last year our combat operations in Afghanistan. Our role there now is simply to advise and assist the Afghan forces, and we’re doing that in coalition with a large number of nations, many of them NATO nations...”
American forces’ counter-terrorism missions in Afghanistan primarily targeted Al-Qaeda and its remnants, he explained, saying the self-styled Islamic State -- also known as Daesh -- would be fair game as well.
Davis said some “lone wolves” in Pakistan and Afghanistan were using the Islamic State brand to raise their stature but the group did not have an institutional presence in the region.
The US was working extensively with the Pakistan government in the war on terrorists, he said, adding the Coalition Support Fund was aimed to enhance the ally’s ability to fight the Haqqani Network.PAN Monitor/mud