U.S. begins Afghanistan withdrawal, handing over bases

The commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, said an orderly withdrawal of foreign forces and the handover of military bases and equipment to the Afghan forces had begun.

Miller said Sunday that he was acting on orders based on U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war, and that the lengthy and unsolvable struggle in Afghanistan was no longer in line with American priorities.

Earlier this month, Biden said he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the militant attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that sparked the Afghan War.

Miller, who has commanded the US armed forces and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan in the fight against the Taliban and other militant Islamist groups since 2018, said the foreign armed forces will continue to have “the military means and ability to stand up during the Protect all of the time “is declining and will support the Afghan security forces. “

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“I had the opportunity to speak to Taliban members with the Taliban Political Commission and I told them that a return to violence, an attempt to force a military decision, would be a tragedy for Afghanistan and the Afghan people” Miller told reporters in the capital, Kabul.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 when they were ousted by US-led forces. Since then, they have led a long-running uprising and now control large areas.

Security experts over the past few weeks have questioned whether the Taliban will allow US forces, which they call invaders, to leave the country peacefully if the clashes between the Afghan forces and the Taliban have not subsided.

According to an agreement with the Taliban, the withdrawal of foreign armed forces is to begin in 2020 on May 1.

“If we go back to zero US forces, we will primarily hand over the (military) bases to the (Afghan) Department of Defense and other Afghan armed forces,” Miller said, adding that the Taliban are committed to their relationship with Al -Break Qaeda. the Islamist extremist group.

The Taliban’s protection of al-Qaeda was the main reason for the US invasion of Afghanistan after the September 2001 attacks.

One United Nations report There were up to 500 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan in January and the Taliban maintained a close relationship with them. The Taliban deny the presence of al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

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