In his visit to the volatile Helmand province in the south of Afghanistan, the top US forces commander General John Nicholson said the Taliban militants are not safe anywhere in the province.
Nicholson attend a ceremony of US Marine Forces in Helmand where he said they will continue their support to the Afghan forces until the end of their mission in Afghanistan.
“The enemy is not safe anywhere in Helmand. We will come after them in everywhere in Helmand to help the people of Helmand expand their security and try to return their lives normal. We are here until the job is done and so the new South Asia strategy is condition-based, not time-based,” Nicholson TOLOnews.
In response to a question about political rift between Presidential Palace and the ousted Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor, Nicholson said they are here in Afghanistan to support all Afghans.
“We are here to support all Afghans regardless of ethnic group, religion, political affiliation and government, out of government. We and the international community are here to support all Afghans. And what we desire for Afghanistan is that they decide their own future and they will decide their own political process,” Nicholson said.
During the ceremony, responsibility of US Marine Forces was transferred from Marine Brig. Gen Roger Turner who leads the forces for nine months in Shorab Military Base to General Watson.
Turner said Taliban does not have the ability to occupy Helmand’s strategic areas and that the group has lost many important locations in the province.
“Taliban has lost any capability to do anything on the level of taking any sort of any important areas,” said Turner.
The new commander of US Marine forces said they will continue to support and train the Afghan Security Force members to carry out an effective war against militants.
“They will support our Afghan partners in the army in the police and really they are campaigned to continue to extend the security bobble around Lashkargah to a greater portion of the people in Helmand,” said Watson.
Commander of 215 Maiwand Military Corps Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai meanwhile said security situation is improving in Helmand.
“We succeeded to retake Nawa district in our military operations last year. The supply routes are all under the control of Afghan forces,” Ahmadzai said.