Washington: Kenneth McKenzie, Commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), has said that Washington will seek to “keep pressure” on the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda terror groups in Afghanistan, a media report said.
“We will still do everything we can to keep pressure on the IS and Al Qaeda, from our over-the-horizon locations,” TOLO News quoted McKenzie as saying in an interview with Military Times.
Regarding a recent UN report warning that the Taliban appeared poised to take back control of Afghanistan, McKenzie said: “We still intend to support the Afghan military from just over the horizon. We’re still going to support them with funding.
“We’re going to try very hard to support the Afghan air force over the horizon; some things will come out of the country to be worked on.
“I don’t want to minimize this, because I think they’re going to be tested, but we will continue to support them, just not in the way we are supporting them now.”
Asked if the US would provide any combat support to Afghan forces if major cities such as Kabul were at risk of being overrun, McKenzie said: “Those are actually policy decisions, not military decisions. Right now what we’re planning to do after we withdraw is keep pressure on Al Qaeda and IS, and that would be what we’d be doing, going back into Afghanistan.”
The withdrawal of international troops is due to be completed by September 11 at the latest.