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Afghan Air Force is powerful and unique: Nicholson

Afghan Air Force is powerful and unique: Nicholson

Oct 08, 2017 - 15:11

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The top US and NATOinfo-icon commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon says the Afghan Air Force (AAF) is unique as only a limited number of countries have such a mighty and young force.

Gen. John Nicholson said the delivery of Black Hawk helicopters to AAF had sent a clear message to the enemy. “Insurgents should define their path, stop killing Afghans, lay down their weapons and start a normal life.

"The militants should rebuild their own families, otherwise they would not be able to face the AAF,” Nicholson said at a ceremony for delivering the Black Hawk helicopters to the Afghan government in Kandahar late on Saturday.

“I am proud of speaking to you on this special day. An important step has been taken today in fighting terrorism,” he remarked, saying the war on terror was not limited to Afghanistan and the Middle East.

"It isn't a war only on the Haqqani Networkinfo-icon, Talibaninfo-icon and Al Qaeda, but it is a struggle against the enemies of humanity." He stressed the war should succeed because it was important for the whole worldinfo-icon.

Providing a peaceful environmentinfo-icon for the Afghan people was more important than anything else, because they were entitled for this right, he added.

Addressing the Afghan forces, he said: “You are fighting for the future of humanity and you have proved your ability in this area. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you.”

About those supporting terrorists, he said: “You are pursuing a goal that is unachieveable. Taliban could not succeed. The US and NATO have reaffirmed their commitments to Afghanistan.”

He claimed Daesh was on the run and the Taliban had been weakened because they were under pressure from Afghan forces in different areas of Afghanistan.

He said that Afghan forces were testing their abilities everyday on the battleground and supported NATO ground forces in the country.

Afghan air force launched 15 air offensives on a daily basis on average and the number was rising with each passing day, the US general said.

“Our message to the enemy and their supporters is clear: You cannot succeed. An increase in the number of Special Forces, AAF and Afghan National Army (ANA) assaults show enemy supporters would fail...”

Nicholson said providing of Black Hawk helicopters to AAF sent a clear message to the enemy that they would fail. Insurgents should stop killing Afghans, lay down their weapons and work for the future of their families, he observed.

The delivery of Black Hawk helicopters to AAF, he said, was a manifestation of President Ashraf Ghani’s view about the future of Afghan forces. “I can say for sure Afghan security and defense forces have significantly improved' they are powerful and brave.”

He promised the US and NATO forces would continue to stand with the Afghans and support their country. The meeting in Kandahar was important because it was attended by prominent Kandahari leaders, he noted.

Acting defense minister Lt. Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami, who also attended the ceremony, prayed for the souls of martyred Afghan security personnel and congratulated the president and Afghan forces on receiving the advanced helicopters.

Pointing to the four-year security plan, he said the helicopters were part of that strategy. The acting minister also thanked Gen. Nicholson for his continued support.



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