UK army seeking to stay in Afghanistan

British Royal Marine Commandos in the town of Barikju, Northern Helmand, Afghanistan.

British army commanders are pushing plans to keep the country™s military presence in Afghanistan even after 2014, when foreign forces are due to leave the war-ravaged country, media reports suggest.

Senior military sources said they have put forward proposals that would see up to 200 British troops stay at Camp Bastion in the southern province of Helmand to work as advisers at the headquarters of Afghan army corps, The Telegraph reported.

œThis group would advise at corps level and provide a link to mentors we might want in Kabul in the Afghan ministry of defence,” a senior officer said.

There are currently about 8,000 British troops in Afghanistan, with a planned reduction to 5,200 by the end of 2013.

Foreign forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand over responsibility for the country™s security to the Afghan government.

Earlier in March, British Defense Minister Philip Hammond also said London will extend its military presence in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline.

The US-led war in Afghanistan, which began in 2001, removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the Asian country, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.

SSM/HE

Copyright: Press TV