In reaction to transition to the new non-combat NATO mission – Resolute Support, the Taliban said “Our courageous nation shall continue its Jihad and struggle so long as a single foreigner remains in Afghanistan in a military uniform and the remaining enemy plots like the former will be also pushed to the edge of defeat and disappointment.”
The group also claimed victory against the NATO and US forces during the past 13 years of war and said the launch of the new mission is a clear indication of their defeat and disappointment.
The NATO-led coalition security forces formally concluded the alliance’s combat mission in Afghanistan after 13 years on Sunday, during an event which was organized for the transition to the new non-combat – NATO-led Resolute Support mission.
The solemn ceremony, held at the ISAF Headquarters, paid tribute to the international efforts launched in 2001 by the NATO-led coalition as they worked with Afghan partners.
The US President Barack Obama called the conclusion of the US combat mission in Afghanistan a “milestone” for the country.
In the meantime, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that the security of Afghanistan will be fully in the hands of 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police forces.
He reaffirmed the alliance’s continued financial support to Afghan security forces despite the NATO combat role ends.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) started operations in Afghanistan in August 2003, nearly two years after the US-led invasion which toppled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
ISAF started operations with 5,581 soldiers, as per the request of the Afghan government and under the mandate of the United Nations, bringing together 28 NATO Allies and 22 partners representing over a quarter of the countries around the world, making it one of the largest coalitions in history and the efforts by ISAF have made Afghanistan and those Troop Contributing nations more secure, denying a safe haven for transnational terrorists.
Assisting the Afghan authorities in maintaining security and developing new Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) along with the economic development by providing resources, the skills, time and space necessary for ANSF to grow are the major achievements of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan during the past 13 years.