The head of NATO is predicting a difficult fight ahead for Afghanistan as the government continues to battle the Taliban and other militant factions trying to assert their presence in the war-ravaged country.

Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, says anti-government groups will continue to fight Kabul in what's likely to be another tough year ahead for the Afghan government.

Stoltenberg spoke to The Associated Press during a two-day visit to Kabul, his second since taking the top NATO role in 2014.

He predicts the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group will keep up their attacks across Afghanistan, focusing on the most contested areas in the country.

NATO has around 3,000 troops in Afghanistan, making up the Resolute Support non-combat mission with about 9,800 U.S. soldiers.