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16 December 2019 - 09:27
News ID: 448020
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White House Officials announced that President Donald Trump is expected to announce the withdrawal of over 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan soon, NBC News reported.

RNA - Currently, the US has between 12,000 and 13,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan. It's unclear when the withdrawal would begin, but officials told the network that it would take place over a couple of months.

On Thursday, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzadsaid reportedly said that the US was "taking a brief pause" in peace talks with the Taliban after a Wednesday attack by Bagram Airfield killed two Afghan citizens and wounded 70 more.

“US Forces-Afghanistan has not received orders to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan," a spokesperson for US Forces-Afghanistan told NBC.

"We remain fully committed to the Resolute Support mission and our Afghan partners, and focused on our key objective: ensuring Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorists who threaten the United States, our allies or our interests,” the spokesperson added.

Last week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told an audience at the Reagan National Defense Forum that the withdrawal of troops would happen even if the US can't reach an agreement with the Taliban. 

He also stated the Gen. Scott Miller, the lead commander in Afghanistan, is "confident we can go down to a lower level without jeopardizing our ability to ensure that Afghanistan doesn't become a safe haven for terrorism".

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