York & North Yorkshire

Yorkshire colonel backs Afghanistan troop withdrawal

The Colonel of the Yorkshire Regiment has supported Prime Minister David Cameron's aim to remove UK troops from Afghanistan over the next five years.

Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton said while Mr Cameron's plans were not set in stone, withdrawal of soldiers from the country by 2015 was "probably appropriate".

Sir Nicholas was speaking during the Armed Forces Day parade in Scarborough on Saturday.

Four hundred soldiers marched through the town in the event.

Mr Cameron has said he would like to see UK troops home by the time of the next general election, due in 2015.

Some 307 UK forces personnel have died since the Afghan mission began in 2001.

Sir Nicholas told BBC Radio York: "Clearly the conditions on the ground have got to be right, but I think that he [Mr Cameron] probably speaks on behalf of the nation - that he wouldn't want the soldiers to be there any longer than they absolutely have to be.

"I think that talking in terms of a five-year time frame is probably appropriate."

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