Terrorists won’t find safe havens in Afghanistan: Pentagon chief
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who arrived at the airbase in eastern Nangarhar province, on Friday said Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups were in search of hideouts in Afghanistan, but they would never be allowed to reach their goals.
On his second trip to Afghanistan, Carter arrived in Nangarhar from the Bagram airbase in central Parwan province and addressed a joint press conference with his Afghan counterpart Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai.
Carter said Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups were looking for safe havens in Afghanistan but they would not be able to find any. The defense secretary said the Taliban had an upper hand in some areas of Afghanistan but it would live short.
“Al Qaeda wants to once again stand on its feet but we will prevent it. This is an important war, to defeat terrorist groups in Afghanistan and in the world.”
He said the Afghan Air Force would be equipped next year and Afghan pilots would be trained. Carter said President Barack Obama had decided to keep 9800 American troops in Afghanistan and deploy 5500 troops at Kabul, Bagram, Kandahar and Jalalabad bases until January 28.
For his part, Stanikzai said the national defence forces were battling armed groups and Afghanistan had international cooperation in this regard. He said the strength of the Islamic State or Daesh affiliates was not as much as propagated by the group as part of its propaganda campaign.
“All the Afghans particularly the people of Nangarhar know where from they are assisted, they receive logistics from the across the border,” Stanikzai said.
The Pentagon chief arrives in Jalalabad amid concerns that the Islamic State group has begun to make inroads here.
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