NATO is considering to increase the level of its troops in Afghanistan to help Afghan security forces in the fight against the anti-government insurgent groups, the Allies Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told a German newspaper Sunday.
Currently, there are about 13,000 troops in Afghanistan from the 28-nation alliance under the U.S.-led NATO Resolute Support mission which aims to train, assist and advise the governmental forces in the fight against the Taliban and Islamic State militants.
Stoltenberg has told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the challenging security situation in Afghanistan was the reason behind the decision.
NATO expected to make a decision by June on the possible troop increase and on whether to lengthen the time frame of the deployments which are now renewed annually, he was quoted as saying.
The Deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, Mohammad Radmanish said the decision on increasing the troops has not been taken yet but they welcoming the foreign forces presence in Afghanistan.
This comes as earlier the U.S. general John Nicholson who is commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan told U.S. Congress that he has a “shortfall of a few thousand” troops needed, warning that “we’re in a stalemate”.
Since NATO’s combat mission formally ended in 2014, Taliban attacks have intensified and Afghan military and civilian casualties have risen.
About a week ago, Taliban militants disguised in army uniforms struck into the Afghan army base in the north of Afghanistan and killed at least 135 army personnel.