Kabul, 9 Rabiul Akhir 1434/19 February 2013 (MINA) – The commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan said Sunday (17/2) he would comply with President Hamid Karzai’s order banning Afghan security forces from seeking Nato air support, according to a report published in www.arabnews.com monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Tuesday.
Karzai said on Saturday (16/2) that he would issue a decree ordering an end to local security forces calling in Nato air strikes amid new tensions over civilian casualties caused by such attacks, according to Peninsula report quoted AFP.
“I will issue a decision that there will be no Afghan security forces, under any circumstances, ask for an air strike by foreign parties to carry out operations against the homes and villages,” Karzai said in a speech at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan in Kabul as reported by VOANews Sunday (17/2).
US General Joseph Dunford, who took charge of the US-led Nato force in the war-battered country last Sunday, said he was prepared to comply with Karzai’s order, made after a Nato air raid killed 10 civilians including women and children in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday night. “We are prepared to provide support in line with the president’s intent,” Dunford told reporters in Kabul.
Karzai summoned Dunford over the air raid in Kunar province. “I get the broad guidance from the president and we will work out the details in the coming days,” Dunford said.
Karzai has frequently condemned the air strikes and even demanded that they to stop. But this speech was the first time he threatened to inaugurate to make a decision.
If issued, the decision was the first time for Afghan security forces relinquish their dependence on NATO air strikes, and increase the pressure on them because they hold the power of security after the departure of international troops.
NATO and its partners race against time to train 350,000 Afghan security forces despite the problems remained unresolved wether they can handle the insurgency related violence in Afghanistan increases.
On Wednesday, a NATO air strike hit two homes in a village in the Valley Shultan and killed 10 people, including five children and four women.
Karzai said he has been told that the air raid was prompted Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS). “If this is true, it is very regrettable and embarrassing. How can they ask foreign troops to send planes and bombed the homes of our own?” he said.
NATO has been in Afghanistan since 2001, and President Barack Obama said he will withdraw all NATO forces in 2014. (T/P03/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)