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White House refutes report regarding US withdrawal from Afghanistan

December 29, 2018

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An official says the US president  has not directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of withdrawing US personnel from Afghanistan.— AFP/File
An official says the US president has not directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of withdrawing US personnel from Afghanistan.— AFP/File

The White House on Saturday refuted reports that US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw almost half of American troops stationed in Afghanistan, Bloomberg reported.

Last week, reports had surfaced that Trump was planning to withdraw 7,000 troops from Afghanistan by the summer, with an American official telling AFP on condition of anonymity “that decision has been made. There will be a significant withdrawal."

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However, White House and US National Security Council spokesperson Garrett Marquis today rubbished those claims in an emailed statement, saying: “The president has not made a determination to drawdown United States (US) military presence in Afghanistan and he has not directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of withdrawing US personnel from Afghanistan.”

Marquis' statement was supported by General Scott Miller, the US commander of international forces in Afghanistan, who said that he had not received any orders to change troop levels in the country.

Trump's rumoured and retracted decision about Afghanistan came on the back of his announcement to pull out troops from Syria, where in his own words, America has “defeated ISIS”.