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US troop presence in Helmand to be increased

US troop presence in Helmand to be increased

Dec 24, 2017 - 14:38

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The US Marine presence in restive southern Helmand province has surged, an official says on Sunday.

Omar Zwak, the governor’s spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News a US delegation headed by Marine Commander Richard Spiner arrived in Helmand on Saturday.

The team met Governor Hayatullah Hayat and other senior provincial officials on security issues. The meeting was held on Shorab Airbase.

Maiwand Corps Commander Brig. Gen. Tarin, 505th Police Zone Commander Brig. Gen. Ghulam Daud Tarakhel and National Directorate of Security (NDS) head. Maj. Gen. Yasin Khan also attended.

Different factors behind the ongoing conflict, its continuation and existing opportunities and problems were discussed at the meeting, said Zwak.

He added the Afghan security forces had gained the upper hand this year and the enemy was on the run in different parts of the country.

US Navy Commander Robert Neller hailed Afghan forces’ progress over the past few months. Under its new strategy, the US would increase its troop presence in Helmand.

He reiterated America’s commitment to supporting the Afghan security forces, saying more work was needed to be done to bring more swaths of land under security forces’ control.

Strengthening the Afghan security forces, rehabilitation activity and good governance are the areas where more work is needed, according to Neller.