Terrorists just tried to assassinate Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Afghanistan

Jerome Frank
September 29, 2017

In Kabul, James Mattis, along with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg, will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other senior officials to discuss the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "train and assist" mission created to strengthen Afghanistan's military so it can defend the country on its own.

The Afghan Crisis Response Unit responded to the attack and US forces supported them in the air, but a missile malfunctioned and caused several friendly casualties, officials said.

Multiple rockets have landed near Kabul airport in Afghanistan after while US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg are also present in the city. Afghan special forces managed to repel the attackers, killing four in an ensuing gunbattle, officials said.

Mattis, who is the first cabinet member from the Trump administration visiting India, attended a press conference along with the Indian Defense Minister and said that the United States places great importance on building a vibrant partnership with India, the DoD News reported.

Since worldwide forces ended combat operations at the end of 2014 and switched to a train, advise and assist role, security has worsened in Afghanistan.

Mattis's comments were backed up by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who was also in the country for a series of meetings alongside Mattis and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

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"We aren't ideal guys, but we are good guys", Mattis said, vowing to protect Afghan civilians.

Zia Durani, spokesman for the provincial chief of police, said that government forces subsequently managed to push the Taliban out of the district.

The strategy will give USA commanders greater freedom to use American firepower against the militants but, speaking a few hours before the air strike, Mattis said they would do "everything humanly possible" to prevent civilian casualties.

"If NATO forces leave too soon", said Stoltenberg, "there is a risk Afghanistan may return to a state of chaos and once again become a safe haven for worldwide terrorism".

Under Trump's plan, more than 3,000 troops will be added to the 11,000 U.S. forces already on the ground in Afghanistan.

The US Secretary of Defense, who assumed office in January, said at a news conference Wednesday that the Pentagon would ensure that Afghanistan "doesn't again become a safe haven for worldwide terrorists".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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