US handed over seven facilities to Afghan military: Pentagon
Washington: The US has handed over as many as seven facilities to the Afghan military, the Central Command said on Tuesday, asserting that America has completed more than 95 per cent of its troop withdrawal and has entered the last phase of the drawdown from the war-torn country.
Since the decision of US President Joe Biden, the Department of Defense has retrograded the equivalent of approximately 984 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan and have turned nearly 17,074 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition, CENTCOM said.
The 17,074 pieces of equipment comprise almost entirely federal excess personal property. Most of this equipment is not defensive articles or considered to be major equipment, it said.
“The US has officially handed over seven facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, CENTCOM said, adding that the US has completed more than 95 per cent of the entire withdrawal process.
“The United States has increased airstrikes in the support of Afghan forces over the last several days, and we’re prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks,” said Gen. Frank McKenzie, Commander CENTCOM during his just-concluded visit to Kabul.
McKenzie reiterated that US airstrikes in support of Afghan forces will go on against the Taliban.
“I reassured the government that we are continuing to provide airstrikes in defense of ANDSF forces under attack by the Taliban, contract logistics support both here in Kabul and over-the-horizon in the region, funding for them, intelligence sharing, and advising and assisting through security consultations at the strategic level,” he said.
President Biden said in April US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of August, ending a 20-year foreign military presence.
The Taliban in recent days has swept across Afghanistan, pushing back the Afghan military and taking over significant swaths of territory as the U.S. nears the ends of its withdrawal.
Approximately 650 troops are set to remain in the country to secure the US diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, including the embassy, and to assist in securing Kabul’s international airport, which is a necessary facility for the movement of diplomats.