The process of withdrawing nato and the United States military presence in Afghanistan has effectively begun. Gen. Austin Scott Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement that although the official start date for the withdrawal was Set for May 1, the process was initiated with measures taken against them.
U.S. President Joe Biden announced last week that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by 9/11, a date later pronounced the Fourth of July by some official circles. Both dates are of symbolic importance to the American people. On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were carried out in the country, said to have been carried out by al-Qaeda; On July 4, 1776, the United States declared independence, which is celebrated annually on this date.
Miller said in a statement about the withdrawal that the process would be carried out regularly and that all military bases and equipment would be transferred to Afghan security forces. Speaking about the Taliban’s announcement that the foreign military presence would be fully withdrawn by May 1 and that it was “ready to take any countermeasure” otherwise, General Miller said it would face a “decisive response” if the radical Islamist Taliban attacked any American or NATO elements. The agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban last year under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, stipulated that troops would be withdrawn by May 1.
According to official figures, the United States currently has around 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Also, nearly 18,000 contracted U.S. personnel who have undertaken various roles are still in Afghanistan. The military presence of other NATO countries is around 7,500; German soldiers make up 1,100 of them.
On the other hand, in Afghanistan, where violence has decreased recently compared to previous years, various attacks have started to be carried out again following announcements that American and NATO forces will withdraw. At least 29 people were killed and dozens injured in assassinations and attacks on intellectuals and media and public representatives on Saturday.
In the capital Kabul, a lecturer at the university, a government official, and four policemen were killed by unidentified men. Also, several civilians and security guards were killed when roadside explosives were detonated in different states. The Taliban claimed responsibility for some of the attacks. A total of seven civilians were killed in Vardak province, including three in a mortar attack by government forces and four in an airstrike.
The Afghanistan Peace Conference, scheduled for this weekend in Istanbul, was canceled because of a boycott by the Taliban, saying American troops had not withdrawn in time. Political experts say Afghanistan could be plunged into a new civil war if the international military forces withdraw from the country without any political solution.