Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Australia to Send Additional Troops to Afghanistan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55375274

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull poses for a photograph with Australian troops serving at Camp Qargha on the outskirts of Kabul in Afghanistan, April 24, 2017.

Kabul – As the Taliban increased its attacks and military operations against the Afghan army and international forces present in the country, a spokesman for the US forces and the NATO Resolute Support mission, Bill Salvin, said on Monday that the US air force has tripled the number of airstrikes conducted in Afghanistan against Taliban and ISIS terrorists since last year.

In media statements, Salvin said that around 900 airstrikes were carried out between January and the end of April this year, compared to less than 300 in the same period of 2016.

Meanwhile, the United Nations said that the number of civilian casualties from airstrikes conducted by US and Afghan forces has increased in 2017.

Recent reports by the UN said that 72 civilians were killed and 76 others injured in the first quarter of 2017, compared to only eight dead and 21 injured during the same period last year.

The UN added that during the whole of 2016, the number of civilian casualties by airstrikes had already increased by 99 percent compared to 2015, with 250 civilians dead and 340 injured.

On a different note, Australia announced it would send an additional 30 troops to Afghanistan to help train Afghan soldiers.

Speaking on Monday, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said the new move would increase the total Australian army training contingent in Afghanistan to 300, as reported by ABC channel.

“These additional ADF [Australian Defense Force] members will allow Australia to commit additional advisors to further develop the long term capabilities of the Afghan security forces, as part of our current train, advise and assist mission,” Payne stated.