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US evacuates main military base in Afghanistan, official says

The move came after Italian and German soldiers, as part of NATO-led foreign forces, completed their withdrawal on Tuesday.

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A senior US official from the defense ministry said that the US Army evacuated one of the biggest military bases in Afghanistan.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the US official said, “All American soldiers and members of NATO forces have left the Bagram airbase.”

Bagram airbase, 40 miles close to Kabul, was considered the most significant airfield in Afghanistan in terms of US-led military operations in the country. The US-NATO forces frequently used the base to launch airstrikes against the Taliban and other groups.

The US troops’ withdrawal from the Bagram airbase has ended the US military presence in Afghanistan, which lasted over 20 years.

The Bagram base will be handed over to the Afghan defense ministry, the official added.

However, around 650 US soldiers are expected to remain in the country to secure the US embassy in Kabul.

Being in Afghanistan as part of NATO-led foreign forces, Italian and German soldiers also completed their withdrawals on Tuesday, according to reports. The German Defense Ministry stated that around 150,000 German soldiers had served in Afghanistan since 2001. Italy’s defense ministry announced about 50,000 soldiers had been deployed to Afghanistan within the same time period.

Previously, US President Joe Biden has stated that his country will sustain its support to Afghanistan for ensuring the country’s security after troops completely withdraw, but this support would not be military.

On the other hand, the Taliban has intensified its attacks against government forces following the foreign troops’ withdrawal. According to reports, the group has seized more than 50 of 370 districts since May, including cities close to the capital, Kabul.

Upon these developments, American General Scott Miller said, “The security situation is not good right now… Afghanistan could face very hard times if its leadership was unable to unite once international troops leave.”

“Civil war is certainly a path that can be visualized if this continues on the trajectory it’s on right now… and it should be a concern to the world,” he added.

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