2017 to be a tough year for the Afghan forces: US defense secretary

The United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has said the ongoing year of 2017 will be another tough year for the Afghan security forces.

Mr. Mattis arrived in Afghanistan in an unannounced visit on Monday to meet with the Afghan officials and the officials of the US forces and the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday afternoon, Mattis said “2017’s going to be another tough year for the valiant Afghan security forces and the international troops who have stood and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan against terrorism and against those who seek to undermine the legitimate United Nations-recognized government of this nation.”

Mattis condemned the deadly attack on the Shaheen Army Corps in North of Afghanistan, saying “And, as if we needed a reminder, as I stand here before you, of the type of enemy that we’re up against, the killing of Afghan citizens, soldiers, protectors of the people, just as they were coming out of a mosque, you know, coming out of a house of worship — it certainly characterizes this fight for exactly what it is.”

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