Associated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) -- A small number of U.S. troops are in Kabul, helping the northern alliance rebels who drove the Taliban out, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday. The Pentagon said all of northern Afghanistan was under rebel control, except for pockets of resistance.
Five weeks after U.S. warplanes opened their assault on Taliban troops and their terrorist associates, American commandos were in the capital, advising anti-Taliban fighters but not controlling them.
"There are a very small number of U.S. forces inside the city of Kabul," Rumsfeld said. "There are not sufficient forces to monitor or police the entire city" to ensure retribution killings by the rebels are avoided.
Summary executions have taken place when Kabul changed hands before during decades of fighting.
Clearly emboldened by the fast-breaking successes of rebel forces and U.S. bombs, Rumsfeld said fleeing Taliban troops and terrorists will be hunted down wherever they hide.
"We're going to get them," he said. "I doubt that they'll find peace, wherever they select."
Still, he warned that the war against terrorism is not near its final chapter.
"This effort against terrorism and terrorists is far from over," he said. "The war is not about one man or one terrorist network or even one country."
The Taliban and its terrorist associates, driven from Kabul, the capital, and all northern provinces, might flee to their southern stronghold or "melt into the countryside," Rumsfeld said.