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Reconcile or face death, Nicholson tells insurgents

Reconcile or face death, Nicholson tells insurgents

Jan 15, 2018 - 19:59

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok):  US and NATOinfo-icon forces top commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon Gen. Nicholson on Monday asked the Talibaninfo-icon to either reconcile with the Afghan government or face death.

The US general issued the warning during a change of command ceremony at the Shorab Military base northwest of Lashkargah, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province.

The ceremony in Washir district marked the end of a nine-month mission involving 300 US Marine troops replaced by as many fresh soldiers as part of troop rotations.

Shorab-stationed US Marine forces’ commander in Helmand, Brig. Gen. Roger Turner handed over the command to Brig.  Benjamin T. Watson.

General Nicholson said the US and NATO forces would remain in Afghanistan until the insurgents were suppressed.

He said the international forces would remain beside Afghanistan people and would continue supporting and training the Afghan security and defense forces.

“We stand by Afghan security forces. Insurgents should know they have only two options: either to arrive at the negotiating table with the Afghan government or face death. We have said we will never be defeated in Afghanistan.”

According to him, under the new US strategy for Afghanistan, the Taliban would never win through war because the strategy facilitated US and NATO forces, allowing them to stay in Afghanistan for an unlimited time.

Nicholson thanked Gen. Turner for his performance, adding his victory in Helmand was due to close coordination between the Afghan and foreign forces.

The new Marine forces’ commander in Helmand, Gen. Watson also spoke on the occasion, saying he arrived in Afghanistan with fresh troops and would soon launch their mission jointly with the Afghan forces.

“The Afghan security and defense forces are currently strengthened more than ever. They have switched to aggressive mode from defensive. Mine and my team’s success lies in full coordination and liaison with Afghan forces and managing affairs properly.”

215th Maiwand Military Corps Commander, Maj. Gen. Wali Jan Ahmadzai, said military operations were successfully underway in many parts of Helmand.

He said currently there was no security threat in areas relevant to the corps.

Helmand remains a fiercely contested province where the Taliban have been in control of six districts.


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