Former commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan General David Petraeus believes that by withdrawing its forces from the country after nearly 20 years, America has abandoned the South Asian nation to face a “bloody, brutal civil war”.
General Petraeus was cited by The Times as highlighting the dangers of an Islamist takeover in the country in the wake of the pullout, set to be completed by the end of the month after nearly 20 years in Afghanistan.
Weighing in on the dramatic surge of violence in Afghanistan, where the Taliban* militant group has been laying siege to Kandahar, the nation’s second-biggest city, Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, siting on strategic routes such as the highway between Kandahar and Herat, a city in the west of the country, General David Petraeus was quoted as saying:
Afghanistan has witnessed a dramatic rise in violence as US and coalition troops are gradually being withdrawn from the country amid the Taliban’s push for reclaiming territory.
The retired general warned that if the Taliban group continued to gain clout across the South Asian nation it might facilitate the return of al-Qaeda* terrorists.
“If that were to happen we would likely see the return of an al-Qaeda sanctuary, although I don’t think AQ would be able to threaten the homeland and Europe in the near-term. And certainly, our intelligence services and military will be watching for that,” he said.
He added that the Taliban…