Afghan Taliban responds over news of Turkish Military taking over complete security of Kabul Airport
President Joe Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to give complete security control of Kabul Airport to Turkey after the US completes withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Thursday Biden and Erdogan met at the Nato Summit on Monday when they discussed the Afghan issue.
He added that Erdogan sought certain forms of US support in exchange of securing the airport and Biden agreed to providing that support.
He said that the two leaders were not able to settle an issue related Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems, a dispute that caused tension it ties between the NATO allies.
"The clear commitment from the leaders was established that Turkey would play a lead role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport and we are now working through how to execute to get to that," Sullivan said.
“We are feeling good about where we are in terms of the planning with the Turks on this issue,” the NSA added.
Turkey long has provided airport security as part of its contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Taliban leaders already have expressed concerns regarding presence of any foreign personnel, including from Turkey, in the country to provide airport security.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon completed “greater than 50%” of its task of withdrawing troops and equipment from Afghanistan as the US is going to end its longest war this year.
The US military has removed “the equivalent of approximately 500 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan,” according to the US Central Command (Centcom).
Nearly 13,000 pieces of equipment, which will not be handed over to the Afghan forces, have been given to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposal.
“The 13,000 pieces of equipment are comprised almost entirely of federal excess personal property. This equipment does not consist of defensive articles or are considered to be major equipment,” reads the official press release.
The US has officially handed over six facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, it added.
“We anticipate additional transfers of bases and military assets in the future which will support the ANDSF/GIRoA as they work to stabilize and defend their nation.”
In April, US President Joe Biden announced a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, that will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Under the deal brokered last year by the Trump administration with the Taliban, the foreign forces were bound to leave Afghanistan by May 1 but Biden extended it, enraging the former rulers of Afghanistan.