Washington, Sep 26 (IANS): Partnered operations between NATO and Afghan forces are continuing despite a decision by the US commander to scale them down after a string of deadly insider attacks, Pentagon spokesperson George Little has said.
Speaking at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday, the spokesperson described such scaling back as "a temporary measure", adding that some patrols below the battalion level still continue, Xinhua reported.
"Let me be clear as well that operations with our Afghan partners continue," said Little.
John Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan, ordered Sep. 16 that all combined International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan operations below the battalion level must be approved at the regional command level, following insider attacks that have killed 51 members of the coalition forces so far this year.
The insider attacks refer to those perpetrated by people wearing Afghan soldier and police uniforms.
Little said it would be up to the command in Afghanistan to determine how long partnered operations are scaled back, but US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta strongly supports Allen's decision.