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An armoured vehicle patrols near the side of an incident where two U.S soldiers were killed a day before in Shirzad district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan February 9, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Washington: All US troops in Afghanistan should be “home by Christmas,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, just hours after his national security adviser said Washington would reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early next year.

A landmark deal between the United States and the Taliban in February said foreign forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula with the Afghan government.

Trump and other officials have said the United States will go down to between 4,000 and 5,000 troops in Afghanistan around November.

Beyond that, officials have said that a reduction will depend on conditions in Afghanistan.

On Twitter, Trump said: “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!” It was unclear whether Trump was giving an order or verbalizing a long-held aspiration.