“US forces in Afghanistan remain in the midst of 8,000 and five bases formerly occupied by American forces have been transferred to our Afghan partners,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
“The US military presence in Afghanistan remains focused on capabilities – not numbers. We maintain the capabilities and authorities necessary to protect ourselves, our allies and partners, and the national interests of the United States, “said Hoffman.
The statement made no mention of the Taliban’s continued ties to al-Qaeda, which was mentioned in a Defense Department report earlier this month.
In late February, the United States and the Taliban signed a historic agreement, setting in motion the possibility of ending America’s long involvement in the war, which lasted nearly two decades.
CNN reported in May that data provided to the Pentagon’s special inspector general for the reconstruction of Afghanistan showed that in the month following the signing of the peace agreement, the Taliban had increased their attacks on American Afghan allies at higher levels than usual.
The United States-led international military operation in Afghanistan told the Inspector General that from March 1 to 31, “the Taliban refrained from attacks against coalition forces; however, they increased the attacks on (the Afghan national defense and security forces) to levels above seasonal standards. ”
CNN’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.