US, NATO forces begin final phase of withdrawal

US and NATO forces have started their final phase of withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 May

May 02, 2021
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US and NATO forces have started their final phase of withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 May. However, under the 2020 Doha deal between the Taliban and the US, foreign forces were supposed to end their presence by now. 

The withdrawal of foreign forces has practically started,” Gen Yasin Zia, the acting defense minister of Afghanistan, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews. “They will hand over the areas where their logistics issues have been addressed will be handed (to Afghan forces) by the end of this week.”

Foreign troops, stationed across Afghanistan, would first gather at Bagram, the biggest airbase, some 25  km north of capital Kabul, and then from there, they will leave the country. 

Also, on Saturday, Kandahar airbase, where the US and NATO forces are stationed, received indirect fire allegedly from the Taliban. The US forces, then, responded by targeting the firing positions of insurgents. 

General Austin Scott Miller, the commander of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, confirmed the base received indirect fire. He also warned the Taliban against attacking the withdrawing forces.

Earlier on Friday, a car suicide bomb exploded in Logar province killing over 26 civilians and wounding over 100. The attack, the first in the recent months with high a number of civilian casualties, came hours before the deadline, under the Doha agreement, was to end.

The Taliban, however, has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier, on 15 April, US President Joe Biden had announced the withdrawal of US forces by 11 September, thus ending the almost 20-year presence of foreign forces in the country. 

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