The US military has finally left Afghanistan’s Bagram airfield after nearly two decades, the Associated Press reported on Friday. The infamous airfield had been the site of several military clashes, particularly the epicenter of the United States’ “war on terror” in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Quoting two US military officials familiar with the development, AP reported that Bagram Airfield, in its entirety, has been handed over to the Afghan National Security and Defense Force. Officials remained anonymous, however, as they were not officially authorized to disclose the development to the media.
Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan was the scene of the US military’s war against the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorist groups. It remained occupied by the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing of the US Force for almost 20 years, while rotating units of the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps also used the airfield as a base.
Although US troops have now officially withdrawn from Bagram Air Force Base, one of its main commanders, General Austin S Miller, “still retains all capabilities and authorities to protect the forces,” said the officers. officials to AP on condition of anonymity.
Previously, US President Joe Biden had promised that US troops would leave Afghanistan completely by September 11. The current withdrawal of 2,500 to 3,500 US troops from Bagram Air Base is a clear indication of following through on this promise. It was clear shortly after the announcement in mid-April that the United States was ending its “Eternal War” that the departure of American soldiers and their estimated 7,000 NATO allies would be closer to the 4th. July, when America celebrates its Independence Day.
Currently, the United States is hosting approximately 6,500 troops in Afghanistan to protect the American embassy in Kabul. However, it has not yet been disclosed when the very last American soldier will leave Afghanistan for security reasons.