September 17, 2012

Panetta: Attacks are "'Last Gasp' of the Taliban Insurgency"

Insider attacks on US troops 'last gasp' of 'frustrated' Taliban: Panetta

Afghanistan Sun (ANI) Monday 17th September, 2012

U. S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has reportedly said that he sees rogue Afghan troops and police turning their guns on allied forces as the 'last gasp' of the Taliban insurgency that has not been able to regain lost ground.

Panetta's remarks came after a Taliban attack on a NATO base in Afghanistan resulted in the destruction of eight jets.

According to the Telegraph, there have been three so-called insider attacks against US and NATO troops over the past several days, including an attack at a checkpoint by Afghan police on Sunday that killed four American soldiers.

Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the escalating insider attacks a 'very serious threat' to the Afghanistan campaign.

According to the paper, the spike in insider attacks is souring the relationship between NATO troops and the Afghan forces.

But military and defense leaders have insisted that these attacks are not hampering the war effort, and that it will not impact the plans to have combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the paper said.

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