US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg renewed their commitment to Afghanistan, as the Taliban launched a rocket attack that wounded five civilians in Kabul.
Mattis is the first member of US President Donald Trump’s cabinet to visit the war-torn country since Trump pledged to stay the course in America’s longest war.
At a joint news conference with President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace Mattis and Stoltenberg pledged the support of US and NATO allies to the afghan conflict and expressed determination to stop the country becoming a safe haven for terrorists.
Mattis told reporters that the foreign assistance would give Afghan forces a “compelling battlefield advantage over anything the Taliban stands to mass against” it, .
Stoltenberg said “the more stable Afghanistan is the more safe we will be,” adding that more than 15 NATO members had agreed to send additional troops.
Meanwhile in a sign of the country’s continuing insecurity a volley of rockets landed on a house near Kabul international airport hours after Mattis flew in.
Five members of the same family were wounded in the assault claimed by the Taliban.