Washington / Kabul: Three Afghan intelligence officials have been killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s Paktia province. The attack took place after the news the talks held in Qatar between the Afghan government and the Taliban were succeeding. Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Mark Milley, has announced that the United States will not leave two major military bases in Afghanistan, even as it withdraws troops from the country.
It is claimed that at least 4,500 US troops are stationed in Afghanistan. The United States has announced the withdrawal of 2,500 troops. The withdrawal is expected to be completed by January 15, 2021, according to General Mark Milley. But even after this withdrawal, the two largest bases in Afghanistan will remain under the US military control, General Milley said. In addition to the two bases, the US military will also control some of the satellite bases in Afghanistan, which are equipped with fighter jets.
Although the US military presence in Afghanistan will be reduced after January 15, it will not affect the two main US operations, General Milley said. He further said that providing military training to Afghan soldiers and the ongoing operation against Al-Qaeda and IS terrorists will see no differences. The announcement by General Milley is being claimed to be a warning to the terrorist groups who were relaxed due to withdrawal of the US military presence in Afghanistan.
General Milley declined to give details of which bases in Afghanistan would be occupied or which would be vacated by the United States. He also indicated that the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and related decisions would continue till a change of government in the United States. “Until Joe Biden takes over the reins of power in the United States, we cannot say what decision he will make on the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” he said. Therefore, there are indications that a change in the role of the United States regarding Afghanistan is expected during Biden’s tenure.
Meanwhile, both groups have claimed that the ongoing talks in Qatar between the Afghan government and the Taliban are succeeding. Negotiations between the two groups will be discussed soon, the Afghan government and the Taliban said. This type of news had been published before. Even then, the violence in Afghanistan had not abated.