US forces handover Bagram Airfield to Afghans as troops withdrawal continue

The withdrawal is the clearest indication that the last of the 2,500-3,500 US troops have left Afghanistan or on the way out, months ahead of the September 11 deadline.

The troops withdrawal from Bagram Airfield signals that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan was imminent. (Omar Sobhani / Reuters)

All US and NATO forces have left Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base, as the deadline for troops withdrawal from the country looms.

Bagram was handed over to the Afghan National Security and Defense Force in its entirety,  US officials said on Friday on condition they not be identified because they were not authorised to release it to the media.

The Air Base was the epicentre of US’s war to oust the Taliban and hunt down the members of the al Qaeda group allegedly responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

One of the officials also said the US top commander in Afghanistan, General Austin S Miller, “still retains all the capabilities and authorities to protect the forces”.

The withdrawal is the clearest indication that the last of the 2,500-3,500 US troops have left Afghanistan or are nearing a departure, months ahead of President Joe Biden’s promise that they would leave by September 11.

It was clear soon after the mid-April announcement that the US was ending its “forever war” that the departure of US soldiers and their estimated 7,000 NATO allies would be nearer to July 4, when America celebrates its Independence Day.

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