Obama extends US combat role in Afghanistan for another year

US Marines arrange their equipment in Kandahar after their withdrawal from the Camp Bastion-Leatherneck complex in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Oct 26, 2014.

President Barack Obama has extended the combat role for US troops in Afghanistan for another year, in a classified order he signed in recent weeks, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Previously, the president had said US-led Nato combat operations would finish at the end of this year.
The Nato follow up mission, to take over on Jan 1 with 9,800 US troops and about 3,000 soldiers from Germany, Italy and other member nations, is to focus on supporting Afghan forces as they take on the Taleban, in parallel with US counter-terrorism operations.
But in a strategic shift, the New York Times said, Obama signed an order authorising US troops through 2015 to carry out missions against militant groups, including the Taleban, that threaten them or the Afghan government.


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