Reiterating the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan, United States President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address emphasized on fewer troop presence in the country.
"Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over," Obama said. "Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain."
Pointing to his recent remarks of bringing the Afghanistan war to a responsible end, Obama declared that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have been trained well during the past 13-year mission.
"Instead of Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan, we've trained their security forces [ANSF], who've now taken the lead," Obama said, saluting the troops' sacrifices by supporting the country's first democratic transition.
Referring to the costly lessons learned by the U.S., Obama stressed the need for cooperation with the world nations in fighting terrorism instead of sending ground forces overseas.
He also touched on the growing issue of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants who have apparently been sighted in some unrest areas of Afghanistan. "In Iraq and Syria, American leadership, including our military power, is stopping ISIL's advance."
The rumors of IS fighters presence in Afghanistan grew sharply after local authorities confirmed sightings of the newly-emerged militants in Nimruz and Helmand provinces.
But the Ministry of Interior (MoI) rejected the existence of IS militants, insisting they were the same Taliban and Haqqani militants operating under different names in hopes of garnering greater support.