UK to keep 450 troops stationed in Afghanistan through 2016

The 450 troops Britain has stationed in are to remain for another year amid deteriorating security in the country.

David Cameron in 2014 after 13 years of fighting the Taliban, but the support mission stayed on to train domestic forces. In a statement to parliament, Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, confirmed the troops would remain throughout 2016.

It comes after President of the US from Afghanistan, saying a force of 5,500 would stay beyond the end of his term of office in 2017.

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The UK and US appear to be extending their presence amid an escalation in attacks amid fears that Afghan forces are currently not as capable of maintaining security as they had hoped.

Fallon said UK forces were only performing non-combat roles, including mentoring instructors at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy. “The UK government recognised it would take time for the ANDSF [Afghan national defence and security forces] to develop into a fully fledged fighting force capable of providing complete security for the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

“We therefore made plans to review our commitment in light of its performance over the year and the overall security situation. Both the US and our own decisions underline Nato’s continued commitment to training and assisting Afghan forces as they grow stronger.”

At the height of UK action in Afghanistan, there were 9,500 servicemen and women in the country, in a conflict that resulted in 453 British military deaths.

The Taliban have made gains since the winding down of US and UK operations. Last month, the group temporarily captured and they are threatening to , the capital of Helmand province.

Source : theguardian[dot]com
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