WASHINGTON – United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced that 8,400 US troops will remain deployed in Afghanistan till the end of his tenure due to the country’s worsening security situation, instead of reducing the number to 5,500 according to previous announcements.
In a statement, he said that US forces would remain confined to the training of Afghan forces and the police, and supporting counter-terrorism missions.
“The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Obama said. “The Taliban remain a threat. They’ve gained ground in some places.”
Barack Obama had pledged to end the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009.
Afterwards, he announced to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 9,800 and later to 5,500. However, the recent announcement is consistent with the previously declared US plan.
Since US forces formally ended the combat mission in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters have gained more territory and the Islamic State group has also established a small presence in the country.