Helmand, Kunduz will never collapse: NATO

NATOKABUL: NATO’s Resolute Support mission on Monday hailed Afghan forces’ performance in the fight against militants and said Helmand and Kunduz provinces would never fall.

Charles H. Cleveland, the mission’s deputy communications chief in Afghanistan, told a press conference here that enough Afghan forces were available in Helmand and Kunduz provinces and they could thwart any kind of attack from rebels.

He said the two provinces, where sufficient NATO forces were available to train and advise the Afghan forces, would never fall to Taliban militants.

The Afghan forces were proceeding in the right direction and continued to advance in tactical fighting, Cleveland said, claiming the Taliban currently struggled with economic and leadership crises.

The Taliban were trying to capture more areas and they would probably increase their attacks in the coming months, he said.

Cleveland, however, said the Resolute Support mission was trying to improve leadership abilities of the Afghan forces for better performance.

About the Islamic State (IS) or Daesh group, he said, the had previously 3,000 affiliates whose strength had now reduced to 1,500 as a result of massive operation by Afghan forces. -Pajhwok

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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