Turkey refuses to send ‘additional’ troops to secure Kabul airport

Plans for the security of Kabul’s International Airport in Afghanistan have hit a roadblock on Wednesday when Turkey refused to send any additional troops to Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country

Jun 24, 2021
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Kabul airport

Plans for the security of Kabul’s International Airport in Afghanistan have hit a roadblock on Wednesday when Turkey refused to send any additional troops to Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country. 

Earlier, Turkey had proposed sending troops to secure Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. However, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Wednesday said they can’t send supporting troops. 

Significantly, the refusal came a day before when a delegation of US officials is to visit Ankara on Thursday to discuss the plan. 

Under NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, Turkey, along with other partners, had been guarding the airport for the last six years. Earlier, the Afghan government had confirmed they were in touch with Turkish authorities for the security of the airport. The US, too, looked keen on the proposal. 

The Taliban, however, warned against such actions saying Turkey, as a member of NATO, is bound to end its military presence in the country. The group, however, said the security of the airports will be the responsibility of Afghans. It didn’t give any specific assurance for the safety of the airports. 

Foreign countries have made it clear that maintaining a diplomatic presence in the country requires a safe and functional airport in the capital Kabul. Amid the fast deteriorating security condition in Afghanistan, foreign embassies have already started reducing their staff presence. 

A week ago, Australia became the first NATO country to shut down its embassy in Kabul. 

(SAM)