Pentagon chief in a surprise visit to Kabul: US continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghans

MattisKABUL: The U.S Secretary of Defense, James Mattis said the US would continue to support Afghanistan and that both Taliban insurgents and the Islamic State (IS) militants, aka, Daesh terrorists would be defeated.

Pentagon chief made a surprise visit to Kabul on Monday where he met with high-ranking Afghan officials. He also held discussion with US-led Resolute Support Commander Gen. John Nicholson, aimed at bolstering bilateral relations and to assess the longest war strategy against terrorist groups.

However, no details were made public whom he would further meet during his stay in Kabul.

Addressing to a joint press conference with Gen. Nicholson, Mattis came hard over Taliban and called the militant group a “barbaric enemy”.

“We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Afghans for the future of this country,” he added.

In his turn, referring to the recent drooping of biggest bomb on the caves of Daesh in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar, Gen. Nicholson, said “It was to send a very clear message to (Daesh). If they come back to Afghanistan they will be destroyed.”

Gen. Nicholson went on saying; “the majority of the Afghan people rejects Taliban and do not want to see them resume power in Afghanistan.”

He added, “We are keep going behind ISIS-K (Daesh Afghanistan) till defeated. There is no space for ISIS-K in Afghanistan.”

Moreover, Mattis said, “We are engaged in defining the way ahead in Afghanistan with several nations, there is no nation that will be responsible.”

Mattis visit comes three days after the Taliban’s deadly attack on Shaheen 209th Military Corps base in Balkh province, resulted into killing over 140 soldiers, including over 60 others wonded.

Mattis is the first member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to visit Afghanistan. The top American commander in Kabul, Gen. John Nicholson, recently told Congress that he needs a few thousand more troops.

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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