Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid on Monday said the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces, especially the Air Force, have become capable of fighting against terrorist groups and that he will not allow the elimination of the country’s army at any cost.
“We lost this army once. We lost this Air Force once. We always say that with the cost of our blood, blood will be cheaper, with the cost of others’ blood, we will not allow the achievements to be lost,” Khalid said at a ceremony on 101st anniversary of Afghan Air Force.
According to the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha late in February, the US troops will leave the country within the next eight months. Khalid pledged that the Afghan forces can defend the country in the absence of financial and military support of NATO and US troops.
“They have defended this country in the absence of NATO, Americans and financial and military support, and we will do it again. There is no problem,” Khalid said.
“The enemy is only changing its tactics. They have changed nothing in strategy; therefore, it is our duty to be always fully ready against such enemies,” Dawrat Pilot, an adviser at National Security Council.
According to a SIGAR report, the Afghan Air Force has at least 206 various aircraft.
The US has pledged to replace Russian aircraft with American in Afghan army but critics say this goal has not been achieved so far.
“Our night operations have reached its high level over the last two years,” said Gen. Fahim Rahim, Commander of Afghan Air Force.