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NATO sending additional combat brigade to Afghanistan, top general says

NATO sending additional combat brigade to Afghanistan, top general says

NATO-led troops battling resurgent Taliban militants will shortly be reinforced with another combat brigade, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan said Thursday.
Gen. David Richards said the brigade will consist of members of different nations participating in NATO's International Security Assistance Force. A brigade is typically 1,500 to 3,500 troops; Richards did not specify how many reinforcements he expected.
"I anticipate at least another brigade of combat troops from ISAF nations coming here shortly and more after that," Richards told reporters.
At the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, officials would not say what countries planned to send reinforcements for allied forces, saying such announcements are up to individual nations.
However, several plan to boost their contributions in answer to requests for more troops to join the fight against the Taliban in the spring.
Poland is expected to send about 1,200 soldiers in February, and British media have reported that Britain is considering deploying 600 extra troops. It was not clear if Richards was referring to those upcoming troop contributions.
In addition, the U.S. Defense Department on Wednesday said 3,200 soldiers from the New York-based 10th Mountain Division already in the country would have their tour extended by four months.
The NATO-led force, which is bracing for renewed fighting with Taliban militants this spring, is about 20 percent short of the troops levels pledged by its contributing nations.
Richards made the comments during the opening of a joint operations center in Kabul that will be manned by officers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and NATO. The three are trying to increase coordination in their counter-insurgency efforts.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have deteriorated recently, with top officials trading accusations on which side is responsible for the increase in Taliban attacks. Some 4,000 people died in insurgency-related violence in Afghanistan last year, according to numbers from Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials.


Updated : 2020-12-04 19:48 GMT+08:00