US and NATO troops started final withdrawal from Afghanistan bases
KABUL – Foreign forces have started vaccating a number of bases in Afghanistan, top military NATO commander said on Sunday.
"We have started withdrawing from a number of bases... Even if Afghanistan has access to a peace agreement, we have been told to leave," Commander of the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan Gen. Austin Scott Miller was quoted by Sputnik as saying at a press conference.
Last week, the alliance declared that member states were scheduled to begin an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, planning to complete it within a few months. The United States intends to complete the pullout by September 11, on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Under the terms of the previous US-Taliban agreement, signed in Doha by then-President Donald Trump, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, in exchange for the Taliban's commitment not to host terrorist forces in the country that could threaten US national security, was supposed to be effectuated on 1 May. However, new President Biden admitted that meeting the original deadline could be "tough".
The drawdown has raised fears of intensification in the war between Afghan government forces and the Taliban insurgency in the conflict-torn nation, which shares about 2,600-kilometers of border with Pakistan, because the two adversaries have failed to reach a peace deal after months of talks.
Despite the launch of peace talks between the movement and Kabul in Qatar's Doha last September, clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan military still continue to rock the country.