22:13 GMT +319 November 2019
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    US Army soldiers provide security for members of their team near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border

    Obama Extends US Combat Role in Afghanistan

    US Army / Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann
    Military & Intelligence
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    US President Barack Obama has secretly ordered an extension to US troops' mission in Afghanistan allowing them to fight against Taliban forces, American media reported Saturday.

    WASHINGTON, November 22 (Sputnik) — Obama has authorized the US troops in Afghanistan to carry out missions against militant groups, including Taliban, that threaten them or the Afghan government, as well as to support combat missions of the Afghan troops using jets, bombers and drones, the New York Times reported, citing administration, military and congressional officials.

    The decision was made amid tensions in the president's administration between supporters and opponents of America's further involvement in Afghanistan, the newspaper added.

    According to previous statements from the White House, the remaining US troops in Afghanistan were supposed to train the Afghan military and to have no combat role in the country in 2015.

    In May Obama announced his intention to withdraw all the American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

    The security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States was signed on September 30, setting forth that the United States would reduce its military presence up to 9,800 by 2015, and finally withdraw by the end of 2016.

    Afghanistan is still in a state of turmoil, as the Afghan government has long been fighting the Taliban, an Islamic movement that spread throughout Afghanistan and formed a government that was overthrown in 2001 after the US invasion into the country.

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    Taliban, US Army, Afghanistan, United States
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