World

Afghan parliament approves agreements with US, NATO on troop presence after end of 2014

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, file photo, U.S. Army Pfc. Garrick Carlton, center, of Sacramento, Calif., hikes past burning rubbish to man a hilltop observation post along with fellow Pfc. Michael Tompkins, of Wadsworth, Ohio, left, and Pfc. Austin D'Amica, of San Diego, at Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province, Afghanistan. U.S. officials say President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, file photo, U.S. Army Pfc. Garrick Carlton, center, of Sacramento, Calif., hikes past burning rubbish to man a hilltop observation post along with fellow Pfc. Michael Tompkins, of Wadsworth, Ohio, left, and Pfc. Austin D'Amica, of San Diego, at Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province, Afghanistan. U.S. officials say President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • A member of the Afghan National Army stands guard as new members attend their graduation ceremony at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Afghanistan's parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year amid a renewed offensive by Taliban militants. The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    A member of the Afghan National Army stands guard as new members attend their graduation ceremony at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Afghanistan's parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year amid a renewed offensive by Taliban militants. The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

  • New members of the Afghan National Army march during their graduation ceremony at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Afghanistan's parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year amid a renewed offensive by Taliban militants. The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    New members of the Afghan National Army march during their graduation ceremony at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Afghanistan's parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year amid a renewed offensive by Taliban militants. The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

Afghanistan's parliament has approved a bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year.

Parliament also ratified a separate troop agreement with NATO in a special session Sunday.

The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban government, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces.

The agreements come after administration officials say U.S. President Barack Obama approved new guidelines allowing American troops to engage Taliban fighters, not just al-Qaida terrorists. Obama's decision also means the U.S. can conduct air support when needed.