We do not need NATO's protection, says Afghan President

Afghan security forces will be banned from calling for NATO air strikes in residential areas to help in their operations, President Hamid Karzai said

We do not need NATO's protection, says Afghan President

World Bulletin/News Desk

Afghan security forces will be banned from calling for NATO air strikes in residential areas to help in their operations, President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday, three days after 10 civilians died in such a strike in the country's east.

Addressing a conference at Kabul's National Military Academy, Karzai expressed his anger about the strike and said he would issue a decree on Sunday preventing any resort to such measures by his forces.

"Tomorrow, I will issue an decree stating that under no conditions can Afghan forces request foreign air strikes on Afghan homes or Afghan villages during operations," Karzai told more than 1,000 officers, commandos and students.

If issued, such a decree would for the first time bar Afghan security forces from relying on NATO air strikes, and increase pressure on them as they increasingly assume control of security from international forces.

On Wednesday, a NATO air strike -- requested during an operation in eastern Kunar province involving Afghan and American troops -- struck two houses in a village in the Shultan valley.

The strike killed 10 people, including five children and four women.

Karzai said he had been told that the air strike was requested by the Afghan spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

"If this is true, it is very regrettable and it is very shameful. How could they ask foreigners to send planes and bomb our own houses?" he said.

A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said there would be no comment on any presidential decree until it was actually issued.

In June last year, following the deaths of 18 civilians in a NATO air strike in the country's east, the ISAF commander at the time, General John Allen, issued a directive restricting their use against insurgents "within civilian dwellings".

In a meeting with ISAF Commander General Joseph Dunford following Wednesday's bombing, Karzai stressed Allen's 2012 directive and said such attacks must never recur.

 

Last Mod: 16 Şubat 2013, 16:05
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