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U.S. general concerned about Afghan security forces after troop withdrawal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of U.S. forces in the Middle East said on Thursday that he was concerned about the ability of the Afghan security forces to hold territory after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country in the coming months.

“My concern is the ability of the Afghan military to hold the ground that they’re on now without the support that they’ve been used to for many years,” Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“I am concerned about the ability of the Afghan military to hold on after we leave, the ability of the Afghan Air Force to fly, in particular, after we remove the support for those aircraft,” McKenzie added.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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