Afghanistan responds over US troops withdrawal

Afghanistan responds over US troops withdrawal

KABUL - A withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would not affect security of the war-torn country, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani said Friday, in the first official response to the news that has left officials in Kabul reeling.

"If they withdraw from Afghanistan it will not have a security impact because in the last four and half years the Afghans have been in full control," presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said via social media.

President Donald Trump has decided to pull a significant number of troops from Afghanistan, a US official told AFP on Thursday, a day after he announced a withdrawal from Syria.

"That decision has been made. There will be a significant withdrawal," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Currently, the United States has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan working either with a NATO mission to support Afghan forces or in separate counter-terrorism operations.

Trump made his decision Tuesday, the same time he told the Pentagon he wanted to pull all US forces out of Syria.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quit earlier Thursday, saying his views were no longer reconcilable with Trump''s. - APP/AFP