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New rules of engagement in Afghanistan: Trump

TrumpWASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump Tuesday said American troops had new rules of engagement for chasing down terrorists in Afghanistan.

“Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans,” Trump said in his first State of the Union address.

He asked the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda, they continued to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever chased down.

“Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them,” he stressed.

“But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are,” Trump added.

He was strengthening the fight against terrorism, the president claimed, announcing to keep open the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to re-examine military detention policy.

Trump lamented in the past the US had “foolishly” released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader al-Baghdadi.

“So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay,” Trump said.

By Lalit K Jha, Washington

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