Connect with us

Latest News

US still mulling type of footprint needed to secure airport and embassy

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: May 26, 2021)

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said in a press conference on Tuesday that discussions are still being held on the type of U.S. footprint needed in Afghanistan in order to protect American diplomats in the country.

In answer to a question about security at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in order to keep an embassy presence for not only the United States but also for other countries after withdrawal, Kirby said the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “recognizes the key hub that is the airport there in Kabul and the impact that will have not just (on) the United States but other nations in terms of their decisions about their own diplomatic presence.”

“So it is certainly a factor that is being brought into discussions and deliberations inside our government about what kind of a footprint would be required to help protect the work of our diplomats.

“The president (Joe Biden) has been clear that we will maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan going forward. And again, as I said, that means having that airport be accessible and open. And we’re just not there yet in terms of what that looks like going forward,” he said.

While no decision had yet been taken, he said “clearly a measure of security at the Kabul Airport will be an important factor as we, again, pursue this new bilateral relationship with Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, reacting to Republican Mitch McConnell criticizing the withdrawal of troops decision, Kirby said Biden has been very clear that our troops accomplished the mission for which they were sent to Afghanistan.

“And that was to prevent that country from being used a safe haven for terrorist attacks on our homeland and there hasn’t been another attack on the homeland emanating from Afghanistan since 9/11.

“So, the president believes the mission has been completed and he’s given us a new one. And that is to conduct a safe and orderly deliberate withdrawal from Afghanistan and that’s what we’re focused on right now. And so, the enemy at play here are terrorist attacks and terrorist groups that would do us harm.

“And again, the terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan has been diminished. Not extinguished by any means but diminished. And that is also why the president has directed us to make sure that we can put in place an over the horizon capability so that we can continue to protect Americans from terrorist attacks emanating from that country and we’re going to do that, we’re working hard on that.”

Asked again by the number of troops in Afghanistan, Kirby said the U.S. could not reveal that information for security reasons stating “we are no longer talking about specific numbers in Afghanistan for all the reasons that I’ve covered with you guys before and that’s to maintain a measure of operational security.

“And so, we have definitely curtailed the delivery of some data with respect to Afghanistan for those reasons.”

Meanwhile, asked to clarify the term over-the-horizon counterterrorism capability, Kirby said the U.S. was “still putting the pieces together of exactly what” this would mean.

“I will add that — and you heard the secretary say this in Brussels, we already do have some over-the-horizon counter terrorism capabilities just by dent of forces we already have in the region, and other long-range capabilities that we have outside the region.

Latest News

Magnitude 5.6 quake hits western Afghanistan, killing more than 20

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

An earthquake rocked western Afghanistan on Monday, killing more than 20 people and destroying hundreds of homes, local authorities said.

The 5.6 magnitude tremor shook the western province of Badghis, bordering Turkmenistan, in the afternoon, reducing brick homes to rubble, according to photos shared by local authorities, Reuters reported.

“Unfortunately, our initial reports show that 26 people, including five women and four children, have been killed and four others injured,” said Baz Mohammad Sarwari, the director of Information and Culture of the Badghis provincial administration.

“The Mujahideen have reached to some of the affected areas, but Badghis is a mountainous province, the number of casualties might go up,” he added, referring to Taliban fighters, and adding that heavy rain was also lashing the area.

Mullah Janan Saeqe, head of the Emergency Operations Centre of the Ministry of State for Emergency Affairs, confirmed the death toll and said more than 700 houses had been damaged, Reuters reported.

Sanullah Sabit, the head of the nursing unit at the main hospital in Badghis’ capital said they had received five patients injured in the quake, mostly with broken bones and fractures.

The quake was at a depth of 30 km (18.64 miles), according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

Continue Reading

Latest News

China’s birthrate falls to lowest level in 61 years

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths in 2021 despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis.

Across China, 10.62 million babies were born in 2021, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the national bureau of statistics said on Monday.

In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per thousand head of population, the Guardian reported.

The rate of growth is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of last May’s once-a-decade census, which found an average annual rise of 0.53%, down from 0.57% reported from 2000 to 2010.

China, like much of east Asia, is in the grip of a population crisis, with lowering birthrates, and predictions of imminent negative population growth and an ageing population. Monday’s figures showed the proportion of over-60s in China rose from 18.7% in 2020 to 18.9%.

Beijing has announced major reforms to address the decline, including raising the retirement age. A three-child policy has replaced the two-child policy that was introduced in 2016 and had sparked a slight increase in births before falling again.

The high cost of living, delayed marriages and lack of social mobility are frequently cited as contributing factors to young Chinese people’s reluctance to have children.

Continue Reading

Latest News

CSTO to take anti-drug trafficking measures at Afghanistan border

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will hold a three-phase anti-drug trafficking operation at the border with Afghanistan, the organization’s Secretary General Stanislav Zas told Russia-24 news outlet.

He said the CSTO has a range of activities planned for 2022, including military security and the fight against terrorism, Russia-24 reported.

“These are measures of fighting against the illegal circulation of narcotics. This subject is especially important on the backdrop of the recent events in Afghanistan. Here we plan three stages of anti-drug trafficking measures,” Zas said.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!