WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — President Barack Obama acknowledged on Sunday that Afghanistan is still a “dangerous place” as U.S.-led coalition forces formally ended their 13-year- long combat mission in the Asian country.
“Afghanistan remains a dangerous place,” the president said in a statement issued to mark the end of the mission, noting the residual troops left by the U.S. and its allies will help “train, advise and assist” Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism operations in the country.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force held a ceremony earlier in the day in the Afghan capital city of Kabul to mark the combat mission’s end and the completed handover of security responsibility to the Afghan national security forces.
Some 13,000 troops, among them 10,800 Americans, will stay in Afghanistan in 2015 to play a support role.
The war in Afghanistan, launched in October 2001 after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. mainland one month before, claimed the lives of more than 2,200 Americans.