RNA - "I could win that war in a week if I wanted to. I'm not looking to kill 10 million people. Okay? Many of them would be innocent people. I'm not looking to do that. I'm not talking nuclear, by the way. I'm talking totally conventional. But I'm not looking to kill millions of people in Afghanistan", Trump told reporters on Friday, as broadcast by NBC News.
The US president pointed out that significant progress had been achieved during the peace talks.
"With respect to Afghanistan, we made a lot of progress. We're talking. But we've also made a lot of progress", Trump added.
In a similar comment in June, Trump had stated that he could end the war in Afghanistan “in a week”, but that doing so would cause millions of deaths.
The US is reportedly planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in a new deal negotiated with the Taliban Thursday.
The Washington Post reported that the number of US troops in Afghanistan would be reduced to between 8,000 and 9,000 from the current 14,000, citing US officials.
In exchange, the Taliban would reportedly have to begin negotiating a peace deal with the Afghan government; the deal would also involve a cease-fire and a Taliban renunciation of al-Qaeda.
The proposal is the result of months of talks between the Taliban and Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born American diplomat, according to the daily.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group. The Daesh terrorist group has also emerged in the Asian country more recently.
Almost 2,400 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, the Washington Post reported, citing Pentagon figures.
According to a UN report released this week, at least 1,366 civilians were killed and another 2,446 wounded during the first six months of 2019 as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan.