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NATO starts training programme for Afghan special forces in Turkey, says report

NATO has launched a military training programme for Afghan special forces in Turkey, according to media reports.

German news agency dpa reported that an undisclosed number of Afghan special forces were flown to Turkey on 28 July for a training course that is expected to be a prelude to regular training programmes outside Afghanistan.

When contacted by Janes , a NATO official confirmed that out-of-country training for these forces had begun but provided no further details. β€œIn addition to continued funding and diplomatic presence, NATO's continued support to Afghanistan includes out-of-country training for Afghan special forces. This training has now begun. For security reasons, we will not go into the details of our out-of-country training for Afghan special forces,” said the official.

The announcement comes as the NATO-led military mission in Afghanistan is set to end in late August: almost 20 years after the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States that resulted in the country engaging in its longest-ever running war.

While the US drawdown from Afghanistan is almost complete, the Pentagon has pointed out that a US mission in the country will continue to focus on protecting the US diplomatic presence in the country, enabling the safe operation of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, continuing to provide advice and assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, and supporting counter-terrorism efforts.

At the same time the long-term security of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul is set to be handled by Turkey following the US pull-out, with Ankara reported to be holding talks with several countries, including the US, about logistical and financial support to run the airport.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence in Ankara was quoted by Turkish newspaper

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