KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. military leaders on Saturday formally handed over security responsibilities to Afghan troops in an area of Wardak province that was the focus of claims by President Hamid Karzai that U.S. troops were responsible for kidnappings and human rights abuses.
The transfer of a base in the Nerkh district of Wardak province from U.S. special operations forces to Afghan troops comes 10 days after Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, reached an agreement with Karzai to carry out the handover.
Karzai initially wanted all American special forces personnel out of Wardak, but later agreed to limit the immediate handover to Nerkh.
“As we pledged, our forces have transitioned Nerkh district to Afghan national security forces, and they have now assumed full responsibility for security in this key district,” Dunford said in a prepared statement. “The rest of Wardak will continue to transition over time, as Afghan forces continue to grow in capability and capacity.”