The US Special Forces are carrying out information-gathering missions to help the Afghan opposition forces. The taking of prisoners and negotiations are being left to the Northern Alliance, declares Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The Pentagon has confirmed that “some hundreds” of Special forces are searching for Osama Bin Laden, in a capacity of information gathering to supply to the Northern Alliance and other armed groups which oppose the Taleban. Rumsfeld declared that these operations were intended “to make us very good at hitting our targets”. He added that avoiding collateral damage was number one on the list of priorities.
This would explain the admission that an incident “could have happened” in which a bombing raid on senior Al-Qaeda members was called off, because “we are waging a war in which we try to avoid collateral damage as much as possible”, declared Rumsfeld.
He stated that there was a “ferocious fight” in Kunduz, Northern Afghanistan and that negotiations were continuing both there and in Kandahar. He said that the US forces “do not accept prisoners” because it is the Afghan opposition forces that are responsible for this.
It is also the Afghan opposition that is carrying out the negotiations and Rumsfeld explained that the US forces have nothing to do with this process, although “we hope that these conversations are not translated into the possibility of the leaders of Al-Qaeda escaping or continuing armed, to launch attacks on other countries”.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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