The move is likely an attempt to undercut a US proposal — supported by Russia — for the formation of an interim government involving the Taliban to rule the country once the last US troops withdraw.
Trump’s decision to limit himself to a partial withdrawal was first reported by Reuters on Monday but still triggered a rebuke from senior Republicans and Democrats who fear it will undermine security and hurt fragile peace talks with the Taliban.
"The idea of visiting at a time when violence is increasing [in Afghanistan] is to assure you, President Ghani, that the people and the government of Pakistan have only one concern; peace in Afghanistan.
All US troops in Afghanistan should be “home by Christmas,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, just hours after his national security adviser said Washington would reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early next year.
It was the first known attack carried out by an unmanned aerial drone against US forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting US forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.
The Biden administration’s surprise announcement of an unconditional troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 appears to strip the Taliban and the Afghan government of considerable leverage and could ramp up pressure on them to reach a peace deal.
President Joe Biden’s newly appointed national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, spoke with his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib and “made clear the United States’ intention to review” the deal, National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said.
Before dawn on Thursday, two rockets punched into an empty square near an Iraqi security headquarters in the Green Zone, the security forces said. But an Iraqi security source told the media the intended target appeared to be the US embassy, a sprawling compound a few hundred metres further south on the banks of the Tigris.
Coalition officials say the troop cuts and relocation of units into fewer Iraqi bases is because Iraqi forces are mostly capable of containing the threat from leftover Islamic State militants on their own.
On Wednesday, three servicemen, including two Americans, were killed when the base was attacked, the deadliest to target US troops in Iraq since a late December rocket attack on an Iraqi base that killed a US contractor and set in motion a series of tit-for-tat attacks that brought Iraq to the brink of war.