American troops to end 'most' Afghanistan combat by spring
January 12 , 2013
American troops in Afghanistan will end "most" combat operations this spring, U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai agreed on Friday.
American forces are then expected to transition into a support role, slightly earlier than originally scheduled.
"Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission - training, advising, assisting Afghan forces," Obama said.
Most of the 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will leave in 2014.
Karzai and Obama also agreed that the U.S. would hand over custody of prisoners to the Afghan government, a move Karzai described as critical for his country's sovereignty.