No change in Afghan withdrawal timeline: US



Washington: There is no change in the timeline for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, the White House said on Saturday.

"The (US) President's focus is on bringing about the transition in Afghanistan to full Afghan lead that he outlined at Bagram when he visited," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said.

"He has kept his commitment from the campaign to end the war in Iraq, to focus our mission on achievable goals in Afghanistan, on al-Qaida, our principal enemy in the Af-Pak region, and he has in that effort overseen a policy that saw a surge in forces in Afghanistan, and is now seeing a gradual withdrawal of forces as we turn over responsibility to the Afghan government and Afghan forces," he said in response to a question.

In the latest attack, he said, three US forces members died following an attack by an individual wearing an Afghan uniform in southwest Afghanistan.

"It is too early to say that this latest incident is part of a stepped-up effort on the insurgents' part. We know that they are trying to maximize media exposure of these events. But our military believes that the operational impact has been negligible. Nonetheless, these incidents do concern us," he said.

"While we are concerned about these incidents, it is important to remember the broader context and the fact that so many Afghans have been brought into Afghan forces, and that number is now up to 330,000, I believe," the White House official said.

PTI