Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Mike Pompeo urges peace talks with Taliban during surprise visit to Afghanistan

Governance & Politics     
             Interviews Governance & Politics Interviews
Glenn Montgomery | 10 July, 2018, 08:28

The Taliban did not claim responsibility for the attack, but acknowledged it in a message on its official Telegram channel.

Green-on-blue or insider attacks, in which a member of the ANSF attacks American service members, have taken place every year since 2008. Officials at the top US military headquarters in Kabul could not immediately be reached for additional comment.

A US service member has been killed and two others were wounded in an "apparent insider attack" in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack, or whether they had been apprehended. In that incident, a Romanian NATO soldier was injured.

A Taliban spokesman said in a statement that the attack occurred at an airbase in Tarinkot, capital of Uruzgan province.

His awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal, officials said, according to news website Military.com.

Some of the U.S. forces are involved in counterterrorism operations, particularly against the local Islamic State group.

The term "insider attack" refers to attacks carried out against USA military personnel by the Afghan troops they are training or advising.

US Army Col. Scott Jackson, the Security Force Assistance Brigade's commander in Afghanistan, told reporters last month that insider attacks were a threat but that US forces were taking necessary precautions.

Around 16,000 troops from US, NATO and other partner countries are deployed in Afghanistan.

During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Pompeo viewed the USA role in Afghanistan as a "humble" mission with an "objective of leaving", but not before threats to American security from the region have been neutralized and the Afghan government is stabilized.

Pompeo said the proposed talks would be Afghan-led, with the USA playing a supporting role. Afghan commandos carried out the operation with support from USA special forces and air power.

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