WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Partnered operations between NATO and Afghan forces are continuing despite a decision by the U. S. commander to scale them back after a string of deadly insider attacks, Pentagon spokesman George Little said here on Tuesday.
Speaking at a Pentagon news conference, Little described such scaling back as "a temporary measure," adding that some patrols below the battalion level still continue.
"Let me be clear as well that operations with our Afghan partners continue," said Little.
John Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, ordered on Sept. 16 that all combined International Security Assistance Force 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 U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta strongly supports Allen's decision.