(WASHINGTON) — Another potential rift between Washington and Kabul has apparently been avoided as the Pentagon and government of Afghanistan have agreed on a plan to withdraw U.S. Special Operations forces from Wardak province following allegations of human rights abuses.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai had ordered American Special Ops units out of the region based on accusations that the U.S. or Afghan force working alongside them had committed various atrocities, including the murder of a college student and the disappearance of nine civilians.
The Pentagon had denied any involvement in the alleged abuses but now has acquiesced to Karzai’s demand that Special Ops soldiers and their Afghan counterparts leave Wardak’s Nirkh district where the atrocities reportedly occurred.
They will be replaced by Afghan soldiers and police and eventually, the entire U.S. contingent will transition out of Wardak over time.
While this was the goal of the U.S. anyway, it’s happening at a faster pace than the Pentagon or some Afghan officials would like since it would possibly leave Wardak more susceptible to attacks by the Taliban or al Qaeda.
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Ivana Kottasova and Armelle De Oliveira, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Faith Karimi and Chuck Johnston, CNN