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Afghanistan: Def. Sec. Esper confirms some US troops to remain in north-east Syria

2 22.10.2019 Инфо

*BUG AT SOURCE*
M/S Acting Minister of the Interior of Afghanistan Massoud Andarabi, Minister of Defense of Afghanistan Asadullah Khalid, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, and Chief of US-led coalition in Afghanistan Scott Miller at news conference, Kabul
SOT, Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary: "We have troops in towns in north-east Syria that are located next to the oil fields. The troops in those towns are not in the present phase of withdrawal. The present phase of withdrawal from north-east Syria involves those troops up along the border, if you will, principally, at the Kobani LZ at this time. As I said yesterday, this withdrawal will take weeks, not days, until that time our forces will remain in the towns that are located near the oil fields. A purpose of those forces working with the SDF is to deny access to those oil fields by ISIS and others, who may benefit from the revenues that can be earned." *NO CUTAWAY AT SOURCE*
SOT, Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary: "Counterterrorism operations remain critical to our efforts to achieving peace and ensuring terrorist organisations cannot find safe haven in Afghanistan. I also want to command the Afghan national defence and security forces for their apolitical approach and their achievements in providing security to the recent presidential elections. This is an example of the important progress being made by the ANDSF to protect the Afghan people from the senseless violence of the Taliban and terrorist groups." *NO CUTAWAY AT SOURCE*
SOT, Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary: "Until that is accomplished, we will continue to pursue an aggressive military campaign against the Taliban and terrorist groups that continue to conduct violence against the people of Afghanistan. Later this week I'll travel to Brussels for the upcoming NATO defense ministerial. Afghanistan is on the agenda as one of the topics of discussion. I look forward to sharing with our allies what I've seen here and expressing our continued support to this important mission." *NO CUTAWAY AT SOURCE*
SOT, Mark Esper, US Defence Secretary: "Over the past day and a half I've had an opportunity to meet with our resolute support troops and leaders, as well as our Afghan partners, here in Kabul, and to get an update on the situation on the ground. From what I've heard and seen, we're making progress towards our common goal that is to ensure that we and our allies never again face terrorist attacks from Afghanistan. I've had a good meeting yesterday with president Ghani, we spoke about the important relationship between our countries - the United States and Afghanistan have a strong security partnership built over many years of cooperation and shared sacrifice."
M/S Esper leaving news conference
SCRIPT
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper confirmed that some US troops will remain in north-eastern Syria to defend oil fields in the region during a news conference on his first visit to Kabul on Monday.
"We have troops in towns in north-east Syria that are located next to the oil fields. The troops in those towns are not in the present phase of withdrawal," Esper said.
He added that the US troop withdrawal will take "weeks" during which time troops will remain to defend the oil fields alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces against IS [formerly ISIS/ISIL].
"Counterterrorism operations remain critical to our efforts to achieving peace and ensuring terrorist organisations cannot find safe haven in Afghanistan," the Defence Secretary added.
He went on to state that the US will continue to conduct an "aggressive" military campaign against the Taliban and other terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan.