The US forces have left the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan – the biggest one used by the United States in this country – under the ongoing full-scale withdrawal, Jennifer Griffin, a national security correspondent of Fox News, said.
“A senior US official tells me all US forces have left Bagram Air Base – the main US military airbase an hour north of Kabul,” Griffin wrote on his Twitter page.
On Tuesday, Afghan broadcaster 1TV reported, citing an unnamed US military spokesperson, that the Bagram Air Base would be handed over to the Afghan security forces.
The US presidential administration pledged to finish the troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11, which will put an end to the 20-year operation in the Asian nation.
Earlier, Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini said that the withdrawal of Italian troops from Afghanistan is completed.
“Last night, the Italian mission in Afghanistan was officially completed. The safe return of the last serviceman ended the substantial logistical and operational efforts, performed with punctuality by our armed forces,” the defense minister said.
Guerini added that the completion of the military mission does not mean the end of the efforts of the international community, in particular those of Italy, for Afghanistan. They will go on but in different forms — for example, by “boosting cooperation in the development and support of the Afghan republican institutions,” he said.
In April, the United States announced that its troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. NATO allies, including Italy, backed the initiative and started to pull their Afghan contingents out starting May 1.
A few days back, CNN reported citing multiple US government officials that the United States could complete the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan within days.
This week could be a critical week in the withdrawal and end of the retrograde process, the report quoted a US defense official on Tuesday.
The report said approximately one thousand American troops could remain in Kabul to serve as security forces for the US Embassy and the city’s airport. The United States had about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan when the withdrawal process began on May 1.
Earlier on Tuesday, the top US general in Afghanistan, Austin Miller, told reporters that Afghanistan may descend into civil war after the formal US withdrawal from the country. Pundits have speculated the United States would complete its exit by July 4, but Miller did not confirm any claims.
The Taliban movement recently launched a successful offensive to seize control of some 100 regional centers, mainly in the northwest of Afghanistan.