US pulls out troops from 5 bases in Afghanistan as part of agreement with Taliban

Jul 15, 2020

Washington D.C. [USA], July 15 (ANI): The Pentagon announced on Tuesday (local time) that the US has withdrawn from five bases in Afghanistan and reduced the size of its forces there as part of the agreement it entered into with the Taliban earlier this year.
"July 13, 2020 marks 135 days since the signing of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement on February 29, 2020. As stipulated in the agreement, the United States agreed to reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and withdraw from five bases. US forces in Afghanistan remain in the mid-8,000s and five bases formerly occupied by US forces have been transferred to our Afghan partners," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
"US military presence in Afghanistan remains focused on capabilities -- not numbers. We maintain the capabilities and authorities necessary to protect ourselves, our Allies and partners, and US national interests," Hoffman said.
The statement makes no mention of the Taliban's continued links to al Qaeda, something referenced in a Defense Department report earlier this month.
"We will continue to execute our counterterrorism mission while simultaneously supporting the 38-nation NATO Resolute Support Train, Advise, Assist mission and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) as they work to secure peace in the country," it read.
"The United States honors its obligations. All sides should reduce violence and embark on intra-Afghan negotiations capable of achieving a negotiated and lasting peace for Afghanistan," it said further.
In late February, the US and the Taliban signed a historic agreement, setting into motion the possibility of ending America's long involvement in the war, which has stretched nearly two decades.
The "Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan" outlined a series of commitments from the US and the Taliban related to troop levels, counterterrorism and the intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at bringing about "a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire."
As per CNN reports, the agreement laid out a 14-month timetable for the withdrawal of US military forces, its allies and coalition partners.
The media reported in May that data provided to the Pentagon's special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction showed that in the month following the signing of the peace deal, the Taliban increased their attacks on America's Afghan allies to levels higher than usual.
The US-led international military operation in Afghanistan told the inspector general that from March 1 to March 31, "the Taliban refrained from attacks against Coalition Forces; however they increased attacks against (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) to levels above seasonal norms." (ANI)

More news

Sikh youth emerges as singing sensation with unique blend of Punjabi-Kashmiri music in J-K's Pulwama

Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], August 14 (ANI): A 28-year-old Kashmiri, Harkishan Singh Sanam, has emerged as a singing sensation in the Valley while surprising many with his soulful blend of Punjabi and Kashmiri musical styles.

Aug 14, 2020