International

India, US Army contingents carry out joint training during Yudh Abhyas 21

Indian Army and US Army troops carried out a joint training during the ongoing joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ in United States’ Alaska, said Indian Army on Friday. New Delhi [India] : Troops of both armies undertook aerial reconnaissance of the target objective for the validation exercise. The recce was carried out in a UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter.Small arms firing was also carried out by a combined team of US and Indian soldiers at Grezelka firing range at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage, the Indian Army informed further.As part of the ongoing Indo-US Defence Cooperation, the Joint Military Training Exercise “Ex Yudh Abhyas 2021” is being conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska. The 14-day exercise had commenced on October 15. During the exercise, the American troops demonstrated the setting up of their Arctic tents (can hold upto 10 troops per tent) which…

International

India-US soldiers play Kabaddi, American Football during Ex Yudh Abhyas 21

As part of “ice-breaking activities”, Indian and American soldiers played friendly matches of Kabaddi, American Football, Soccer and Volleyball on Saturday. Alaska [US] : Four mixed teams, comprising troops from both the countries, played a number of friendly matches with true sportsmanship spirit, said the Indian Army. Both contingents learned from each other’s games. Whereas the Indian troops tried their hand at American Football, the US troops participated with equal zeal and vigour in Kabaddi.These sports activities enabled the troops to know each other closely, which will be important in the coming activities such as firing, rappelling and the final validation exercise added Indian Army.This comes amid the 17th Edition of India-US joint training exercise “Ex Yudh Abhyas 21” that commenced at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (US) on Friday. The 14 days exercise includes joint training for operations under the United Nations mandate,…

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US does not need to coordinate counterterrorism airstrikes with Taliban, says Pentagon

The Pentagon on Saturday said that the US does not need to coordinate counterterrorism airstrikes with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Washington [US], September 26 : Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that there is no need to talk with the Taliban about the need to carry out air attacks on terrorists in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News. “We retain all necessary authorities to execute over the horizon counterterrorism operations and we remain confident in these capabilities moving forward without speaking to specific rules of engagement surrounding airstrikes. There is currently no requirement to clear airspace with the Taliban and we do not expect that any future over the horizon counterterrorism strikes would hinge on such a clearance,” he said.This comes a day after the Taliban’s remarks over demanding compensation from countries involved in fighting in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.Meanwhile, the Taliban said the US should…

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Taliban declare victory from Kabul airport, promise security

In a show of control, turbaned Taliban leaders were flanked by the insurgents’ elite Badri unit as they walked across the tarmac. The commandos in camouflage uniforms proudly posed for photos. Kabul, Afghanistan, august 31 : The Taliban triumphantly marched into Kabul’s international airport on Tuesday, hours after the final U.S. troop withdrawal that ended America’s longest war. Standing on the tarmac, Taliban leaders pledged to secure the country, quickly reopen the airport and grant amnesty to former opponents. In a show of control, turbaned Taliban leaders were flanked by the insurgents’ elite Badri unit as they walked across the tarmac. The commandos in camouflage uniforms proudly posed for photos. Getting the airport running again is just one of the sizeable challenges the Taliban face in governing a nation of 38 million people that for two decades had survived on billions of dollars in…

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Want good relations with the US and world, say Taliban as America pulls out of Afghanistan

The United States completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan on Monday, ending 20 years of war that culminated in the militant Taliban’s return to power. Kabul, Afghanistan, August 31 : The Taliban is celebrating its takeover of Afghanistan. Its top spokesman congratulated Afghan people on their victory, hours after the last US troops left the country following 20 years of military intervention. “Congratulations to Afghanistan… this victory belongs to us all,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said from the runway of Kabul airport. “We want to have good relations with the US and the world. We welcome good diplomatic relations with them all,” he added. The US has said that Embassy in Kabul has suspended operations. “While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar,” the website…

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Evacuation resumes at Kabul airport a day after ISIS suicide attack killed over 100

Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport on Thursday which killed more than 100 people, including 13 US troops. The Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed responsibility of the Kabul airport suicide attack. Kabul, India, August 27 : More than 100 people were killed, including 13 US troops and over 150 were wounded when two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport. The blasts came hours after Western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. Near about 5,000 people were awaiting flights on the airfield.  The Islamic State group claimed responsibility of the Kabul airport suicide attack. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lightning blitz. The Taliban were not believed to have been involved in the attacks and condemned…

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90 Afghans, 13 US troops killed in ISIS attack outside Kabul airport

Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport on Thursday which killed more than 100 people, including 13 US troops. The Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed responsibility of the Kabul airport suicide attack. Kabul, Afghanistan, August 27 : More than 100 people were killed, including 13 US troops and over 150 were wounded when two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport. The blasts came hours after Western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. Near about 5,000 people were awaiting flights on the airfield.  The Islamic State group claimed responsibility of the Kabul airport suicide attack. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lightning blitz. The Taliban were not believed to have been involved in the attacks and condemned…

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‘We will hunt you down and make you pay’: Joe Biden warns Kabul airport attackers

2 suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport on Thursday, killing at least 60 Afghans and 13 US troops. Washington, USA, August 27 : President Joe Biden has vowed to “hunt” down the terrorists and make them “pay” for the deadly attacks outside the Kabul airport in which 13 US service members were killed and 18 others wounded. Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport on Thursday, killing at least 60 Afghans and 13 US troops. “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm notice, we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday. The…

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Blinken thanks US partners for aiding evacuation from Afghanistan

Washington DC [US]: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday thanked its partner countries who played an important role to help them evacuate US citizens and ‘at-risk Afghans’ from Kabul. Blinken’s remarks come as the US facilitated the departure of approximately 13,000 people on military aircraft since August 14. “We are working around the clock to maximize evacuations; we have facilitated the departure of approximately 13,000 people on U.S. military aircraft since August 14 and continue to ramp up operations,” Blinken said in a statement. Secretary Blinken thanked several countries that helped in transiting Americans or, in some circumstances, others through their territories to safety. He also thanked other nations who helped in relocation efforts for at-risk Afghans. “We deeply appreciate the support they have offered, and are proud to partner with them in our shared support of the Afghan people. We are…

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US troops footprint in Kabul now over 5,200

Washington [US]: The Pentagon on thursday (local time) said that the US footprint in Kabul is now over 5,200 total troops on the ground. Speaking at a press briefing in the Pentagon, US Army Major General William “Hank” Taylor said, “The US footprint in Kabul is now over 5,200 total troops on the ground. Kabul Airport remains secure and open for flight operations.” Providing an update on US evacuations from Afghanistan Taylor said that since the start of evacuation operations on August 14, the US has evacuated approx 7,000 total evacuees. The cumulative number of people moved out of Afghanistan is somewhere near 12,000.“This increase is reflective of both a ramp-up of aircraft and airlift capability, faster processing of evacuees and greater information and fidelity in reporting,” Taylor said in a Pentagon briefing. Taylor did not provide a breakdown of numbers on evacuees but…

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Biden suspends arms sales to Afghanistan

Washington [US]: The Biden administration on Wednesday (local time) suspended all arms sales to the government of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country. In a notice to defense contractors posted, the State Department’s Political/Military Affairs Bureau said pending or undelivered arms transfers to Afghanistan had been put under review. “In light of rapidly evolving circumstances in Afghanistan, the Directorate of Defense Sales Controls is reviewing all pending and issued export licenses and other approvals to determine their suitability in furthering world peace, national security and the foreign policy of the United States,” it said. The notice said it would issue updates for defense equipment exporters in the coming days.Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said he is committed to keeping US troops in Afghanistan until every American is evacuated, even if that means maintaining a military presence there beyond his August 31 deadline…

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Taliban escalated terror attacks, protected Al-Qaeda during talks with US: Pentagon

Washington DC [US] : The resurgent Taliban escalated its own terror attacks across Afghanistan, including female government officials, aid and healthcare workers and protected al-Qaeda even while it was negotiating with the US government, a Department of Defense report said on Tuesday. “According to an Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesperson, violent incidents increased by nearly 25 percent around the country since President Biden announced the revised withdrawal deadline, with Taliban attacks reported in 21 of the 34 provinces,” the report said. It went on to say that some US commanders have argued that the Taliban violated its February 2020 deal by continuing attacks on the Afghan forces and failing to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.“Additionally, the Taliban continued to maintain its relationship with al-Qaeda, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan,” the report said.The increased Taliban violence in the…

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Afghan President Ghani blames ‘abrupt’ US withdrawal for deteriorating security

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 2 : Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday blamed the country’s deteriorating security on the US deciding “abruptly” to withdraw its troops.“The reason for our current situation is that the decision was taken abruptly,” he told the Afghan Parliament, adding he had warned Washington that the withdrawal would have “consequences,” reported Tolo News. President Ghani said in a special session of the National Assembly that Afghanistan was facing a test of survival and the country must be mobilized to pass this test successfully. Ghani also announced the beginning of a six-month security plan to improve the security situation in the country.He announced that the period of military presence in Afghanistan is over and it is now the responsibility of the Afghans to determine their future.President Ghani in his speech said the present time offered an opportunity to build peace and harmony…