Afghan Taliban welcoming Response to US President Trump tweet

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ISLAMABAD — The Afghan Taliban on Thursday welcomed a tweet from President Donald Trump link in which he promised to have the last of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Christmas — or at least by the end of the year.

If that withdrawal happens, it would be months ahead of schedule and the tweet made no reference to a Taliban promise to fight terrorist groups — a previous pre-requisite for an American withdrawal.

In a tweet that seemed to contradicted his national security adviser, Trump said “we should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas.”

On Wednesday, National Security Adviser Robert O"Brien, speaking of American forces in Afghanistan, told an audience in Las Vegas that “as of today, there are under 5,000 and that will go to 2,500 by early next year.”

Yet when asked about his tweet, Trump told Fox Business Channel: “We’re down to 4,000 troops in Afghanistan. I’ll have them home by the end of the year. They’re coming home, you know, as we speak. Nineteen years is enough. They’re acting as policemen, OK? They’re not acting as troops.”

America’s exit from Afghanistan after 19 years was laid out in an agreement link Washington reached with the Taliban in February. However, that agreement said U.S. troops would be out of Afghanistan in 18 months, provided the Taliban honored a commitment to fight terrorist groups, with most attention seemingly focused on the Islamic State group’s affiliate in the country.