Hasty pullout of US & allied troops from Afghanistan could exact 'very high' price: NATO chief Stoltenberg

WION Web Team
Brussels, Belgium Published: Nov 17, 2020, 04.48 PM(IST)

Trump in Afghanistan Photograph:( AFP )

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US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell warned that troop reduction in Afghanistan and Iraq would result in a 'big propaganda victory' for the terrorists in the region.

Amid reports of troop pullout from Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that "hasty" troop pullout from Afghanistan could have "high price".

Also Read: Trump expected to order troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq

Pentagon has reportedly announced US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and reportedly issued a "warning order".

The US plan is to reportedly bring back 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and 2,500 in Iraq by January 15. There are currently around 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq.

Also Read: Afghanistan captures mastermind of Kabul university attack

Trump in a tweet had earlier said: "We should have the small remaining number of our brave and women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!"

Meanwhile, US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell warned that troop reduction in Afghanistan and Iraq would result in a "big propaganda victory" for the terrorists in the region.

"The consequences of a premature US exit would likely be even worse than President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq back in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism," McConnell told the US Senate.

"It would be reminiscent of the humiliating America departure from Saigon in 1975," McConnell added. Former defense secretary Mark Esper who was fired by President Trump recently had reportedly insisted on keeping 4,500 troops in Afghanistan due to attacks by the Taliban.

"The spectacle of US troops abandoning facilities and equipment, leaving the field in Afghanistan to the Taliban and ISIS, would be broadcast around the world as a symbol of US defeat and humiliation, and a victory for Islamic extremism," Mitch McConnell who is believed to be close ally of Trump, said.

"It would hand a weakened and scattered Al-Qaeda a big, big propaganda victory and a renewed safe haven for plotting attacks against America," McConnell added.  

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