US general: foreign forces 'not occupiers in Afghanistan'

Nearly 120,000 foreign troops are now in Afghanistan, a number that will grow sharply in the coming months as new U.S. and NATO contingents arrive.

US general: foreign forces 'not occupiers in Afghanistan'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Top US general does not see foreign forces as "occupiers" in Afghanistan.

Nearly 120,000 foreign troops are now in Afghanistan, a number that will grow sharply in the coming months as new U.S. and NATO contingents arrive.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, on Wednesday said that Turkish troops were always standing by the Afghan people.

U.S. and other country's forces had watched Turkish forces and "learned" much by seeing how Turkish forces were working in such an atmosphere, McChrystal told Turkish
reporters in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Turkey's General Staff is actually organizing a tour to Afghanistan for Turkish reporters, Anadolu news agency said.

McChrystal said he did not believe the international coalition wanted to see a worse Afghanistan, and did not consider itself an "occupier force".

Armed forces could start withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011 according to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks, McChrystal said.

McChrystal also said conditions on that day would show how quick the withdrawal would be or how long it would last.

The U.S. general said international forces should stay in Afghanistan until this country developed its military and security capabilities so that they could "defend themselves" on their own.

President Barack Obama has announced the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. troops and allies have committed almost 10,000 more.

McChrystal said the international force was "acting carefully" to jeopardize lives of civilians in their operations, however it was sometimes making "mistakes".

Civilian casualties inflicted during attacks by international forces have caused deep anger among Afghans and analysts say they encourage people to join the Taliban insurgency.

In November 2009, Turkey has taken over the leadership of the Kabul Regional Command from France for a year. Turkey was already supporting the ISAF with around 800 non-combat troops, but the number of troops has gradually been increased to 1,700. Turkey will keep its additional troops during the rotating leadership.

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 11:44
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