Published: Thu, August 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pompeo: Trump Wants Troops Out of Afghanistan Before 2020 Elex

Pompeo: Trump Wants Troops Out of Afghanistan Before 2020 Elex

Pro-government and worldwide military forces in Afghanistan were responsible for more civilian deaths in the first six months of 2019 than militant groups such as the Taliban and Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), according to a 30 July report issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Underlining that civilian deaths rose 27% in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the first, it added that 1,397 civilian casualties - 717 deaths and 680 injured - were caused by Afghan and worldwide forces, also referred to as pro-government forces (PGFs), up 31% from the corresponding period in 2018. Most of the deaths occurred during Afghan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air and ground attacks against insurgents.

The U.S. formally ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 but still provides extensive air and other support to Afghan forces battling militants.

Two U.S. service members were killed in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan on Monday, according to the Pentagon.

The situation for ordinary Afghans would be improved, he said, "not just by abiding by global humanitarian law but also by reducing the intensity of the fighting".

The U.S.is about to originate its eighth round of negotiations with the militant community in Qatar rapidly, because the Trump administration strikes to blueprint down the American navy presence in Afghanistan almost 18 years after the U.S. first invaded.

The Taliban control or contest half the country, more than at any time since being overthrown by US-led Afghan forces in late 2001, but they have rejected calls for a ceasefire until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.

The death brings to 12 the number of members of the U.S. military to be killed in action in Afghanistan this year.

It said that 83% of civilian casualties resulted from aerial operations, 9% from the Afghan Air Force, and the remaining 8% by undetermined pro-government forces.

The air strikes are said to have caused 519 civilian casualties, 150 of whom were children.

Colonel Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US Forces-Afghanistan, disputed UNAMA's data and said the US military investigates all civilian casualty allegations in what is a "complex environment".

Repeated attacks in Afghanistan over the past several months have killed and wounded hundreds of innocent Afghans, and shown the world the fragile and worsening state of security in the conflict-stricken country.

The existence of an unofficial deadline has deepened fears in Kabul that Washington may rush into a deal with the Taliban in a bid to win over U.S. voters, and ignore any concerns from its Afghan government partners.

Background: The United States and the Taliban are preparing for an eighth round of talks in Doha as reports suggest that both sides are close to reaching a deal to end the war in Afghanistan.

The Taliban - which as soon as harboured Osama Bin Laden - bear stated they'll additionally no longer comply with a ceasefire till worldwide forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan and bear rejected the Afghan authorities as "a US-imposed puppet regime".

On Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani's top running mate, former national intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, narrowing escaped being killed when attackers besieged his political office in Kabul.

The violence came on the first day of campaigning for the upcoming presidential elections, serving as a grim reminder of Afghanistan's woeful security situation and the sort of mayhem that beset previous polls.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that killing.

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