Turkey not considering Afghan withdrawal unlike UK, NATO
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet photoNATO pulled all its staff out of Afghan government ministries Feb. 25, after two of its advisors in the interior ministry were shot dead. Britain also said its embassy was temporarily withdrawing all civilian mentors and advisors from Afghan government institutions in Kabul. Upon questioning, the Turkish Foreign Ministry told the Daily News that Turkey was not considering withdrawing any of its staff from Afghanistan.
Turkey, which has the second largest standing army in the alliance, currently has 1,600 soldiers serving in International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Unlike other European members of ISAF, Turkey’s mission is limited to patrols and its troops do not take part in combat operations. Afghanistan’s interior ministry said yesterday one of its employees is suspected of shooting dead two U.S. officers. “An employee has been identified as a suspect and he has now fled. The interior ministry is trying to arrest the suspected individual,” it said in a statement.
Afghan security sources identified Abdul Saboor, a 25-year-old police intelligence officer, as a suspect in the shooting of the Americans at close range deep inside the interior ministry. “We are saddened by the incident and express our condolences to the families of the victims,” Karzai said. The Taliban has claimed that the shooter was one of their sympathizers, and that an accomplice had helped him get into the compound to kill the Americans in retaliation for the Quran burnings.