Conflict & Justice

Hamid Karzai moves to ban Afghan army requests for foreign air strikes


Afghan President Hamid Karzai holds a press conference at the Presidential Palace on Feb. 8, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan.


Majid Saeedi

Hamid Karzai took a stand against foreign air strikes in Afghanistan Saturday, saying he would issue a decree banning Afghan army requests for NATO to help target residential neighborhoods. 

Speaking at a conference at Kabul's National Military Academy, Karzai was responding to a NATO strike Wednesday on a residential area in eastern Kunar province which left 10 people dead, including several women and children, according to Reuters

“I will issue a decree tomorrow that no Afghan security forces, in any circumstances, can ask for the foreigners’ planes for carrying out operations on our homes and villages,” the President said, the Associated Press reported.  

If issued, the decree would signal the first time Afghanistan's security forces were prohibited from relying on NATO, upping the pressure for them to become fully autonomous as international forces continue to pull out of the region by 2014. 

Afghan forces already lead around 90 percent of operations, according to BBC News, and Karzai has said he looks forward to the army taking over from NATO. 

"We are happy for all their help and assistance so far, but we do not need foreign forces to defend our country," Karzai said, BBC News reported. "We want our Afghan forces to defend their homeland." 

More from GlobalPost: NATO accused of killing up to 10 civilians in Afghanistan's Kunar province