Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Joint Operations with Afghans Not Suspended: NATO

Joint Operations with Afghans Not Suspended: NATO

KABUL - The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Tuesday rejected as inaccurate media coverage regarding a change in its model of Security Force Assistance (SFA) to Afghan forces.
"ISAF remains absolutely committed to partnering with, training, advising and assisting our ANSF counterparts," a statement from the multinational force said.

The ISAF SFA model is focused at the battalion level and above, with exceptions approved by senior commanders, according to the statement. Partnering continued to occur at all levels, from platoon to corps, it added.
"In response to elevated threat levels resulting from the 'Innocence of Muslims' video, ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks," the statement said.

As a result, operational tempo had been reduced or force protection increased in some local instances, it explained, saying the actions balanced the tension of the recent video with force protection.

"We've done this before in other high-tension periods and its worked well. Under this guidance and as conditions change, we will continue to adapt the force posture and force protection."

Meanwhile, the defense ministry spokesman also denied a halt to joint operations, spurning as groundless reports to the effect. Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi told Pajhwok NATO and Afghan forces continued to operate together at levels of battalion, brigade and military corps.

However, he acknowledged joint operations at the lower level were suspended in the wake of the release of the profane video, as a result of bilateral consultations. (Pajhwok)