The Straits Times
Published on Sep 28, 2012

Nato joint patrols with Afghans back to 'normal': US


WASHINGTON (AFP) - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato)-led troops have resumed most joint operations with Afghan forces after commanders restricted patrols with their allies in Afghanistan due to a spike in insider attacks, United States (US) Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.

Last week, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) announced a scaling back of joint operations with its Afghan partners following a dramatic rise in so-called "green-on-blue" assaults, in which Afghan soldiers turn their weapons on their Western allies.

"I can now report to you that most ISAF units have returned to their normal partnered options at all levels," Mr Panetta told a news conference.

But the Pentagon chief, who was joined by top US military officer General Martin Dempsey, could not provide details as to what percentage of joint operations had resumed.