For almost 20 years, Bagram has been the primary military base used by the US to wage its war in Afghanistan…reports Asian Lite News
The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan reached a significant milestone on Friday, with officials confirming that all American forces had left the sprawling Bagram Air Base, CBS News reported.
For almost 20 years, Bagram has been the primary military base used by the US to wage its war in Afghanistan, the report said.
The American forces’ unceremonious departure from Bagram is the most significant evidence yet that America’s longest war has finally come to an end. The base was in the hands of Afghan security forces as of Friday — way ahead of the deadline President Joe Biden set to have all US forces out by September 11.
However, it doesn’t mean the withdrawal of America troops is complete, and officials stressed that the top US commander in Afghanistan, Army General Scott Miller, “still retains all the capabilities and authorities to protect the forces” still in the country.
The US military hasn’t said when the last American soldiers are due to pack up and head home from Afghanistan, but there’s a lot of unfinished business, the report said.
The Taliban welcomed the news of the Bagram handover, spokesman Suhail Shaheen told CBS News on Friday, adding: “We hope there are no more foreign soldiers on our land.”
Daily Mail reported for close to 20 years, Bagram Airfield was the heart of American military power in Afghanistan, a sprawling mini-city behind fences and blast walls just an hour’s drive north of Kabul.
It was initially a symbol of the US drive to avenge the 9/11 attacks and then of its struggle for a way through the ensuing war with the Taliban.
Now, in just a matter of days, the last US soldiers will have departed Bagram.
They are leaving what probably everyone connected to the base — whether American or Afghan — considers a strained legacy, the report said.
US Central Command said last week it is well past 50 per cent packing up Bagram and the rest is going fast. American officials have said the entire pullout of US troops will most likely be completely finished by July 4.
The Afghan military will then take over Bagram as part of its continuing fight against the Taliban — and against what many in the country fear will be a new eruption of chaos.
As the withdrawal date for the US troops approaches, thousands of Afghan translators now face being left stranded because they haven’t yet been accepted for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) into America, the report added.
Up to 18,000 translators and interpreters are under constant fear of deadly attacks from the Taliban and have been run out of their homes because of their support for the American government over the last 20 years.
It has cost the US military 2,312 lives and $816 billion, according to the Department of Defence.