(The Blaze/AP) -- Under intense security and the cover of night, President Barack Obama slipped into Afghanistan on Tuesday, despite earlier denials from the White House. He's there to sign an agreement aimed at cementing a lasting U.S. commitment to the nation after the long and unpopular war comes to an end.
CNN reports Obama will address the nation from Afghanistan at 7:30 pm ET.
For about seven hours, Obama is to be on the ground in Afghanistan, where the United States has been engaged in war in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks more than decade ago. The trip carries major symbolic significance for the president as U.S. commander in chief. And it allows him to showcase what the White House considers the fruit of Obama's refocused war effort: the killing a year ago of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Air Force One touched down late at night local time at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base here. You can watch the arrival below:
Media traveling with Obama on the 13-hour flight had to agree to keep it secret until Obama had safely finished a helicopter flight to the nation's capital, Kabul, where Taliban insurgents still launch lethal attacks.
Obama is joining Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign an agreement that will broadly govern the U.S. role in Afghanistan after the American combat mission stops at the end of 2014 - 13 years after it began.
The initial report cited Afghan officials and came from TOLONews. Interestingly, the White House has denied the story.
"That report is not accurate and the president is not in Kabul," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in comments made to NewsCore.
The only clarification that was confirmed was that a "high-level delegation" arrived in Kabul. The U.S. Embassy there echoed the White House in denying that Obama has arrived in the country.
China's Xinhua News Agency also reported that Obama is in the country, writing, "During his trip here, the U.S. president is expected to sign a strategic agreement with Afghanistan, unnamed Afghan government officials were quoted as saying by local TV channels."
Looks like they were right all along.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story has been updated.
(H/T: Newscore via NY Post)