US General Says Foreign Forces in Afghanistan Begin Withdrawal
Foreign forces in Afghanistan have begun to withdraw and hand over military bases and equipment to Afghan forces, the commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, US Army Gen. Scott Miller, told Reuters. He said he was acting on orders of US President Joe Biden, who announced that he would withdraw all troops from the country by September 11.
Miller also told Reuters that the foreign forces will continue to have “the military means and capability to fully protect themselves during the ongoing retrograde and will support the Afghan security forces.”
Some of the equipment will return to the United States, but the rest, and the bases, will mostly be given to the Afghan Defense Ministry and other Afghan forces.
Miller said he told the Taliban that “a return to violence, an effort to force a military decision, would be a tragedy for Afghanistan and the Afghan people.”
A May 1 deadline for the United States to remove its remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan was set by former President Donald Trump, in a February 2020 deal cut with the Taliban. In exchange, the Taliban agreed to cut ties to Al-Qaida and stop its attack on American targets. The deal to end the two-decade-long conflict also included negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government leading to a power-sharing agreement, which are currently stalled.