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U.S. pulls out of main Kandahar base in southern Afghanistan: Afghan military

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The United States has accomplished its withdrawal from Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan, as soon as the second largest navy base within the nation for U.S. forces, officers mentioned on Friday.

Kandahar province was the birthplace of the Taliban and has in current months seen intense clashes between the resurgent militants and Afghan forces.

U.S. airstrikes have been launched from the bottom simply final week to assist Afghan forces push again a serious Taliban offensive.

“They have not officially handed over the base to us but I can confirm they left the base on Wednesday,” mentioned Khoja Yaya Alawi, a spokesman for the Afghan military in Kandahar.

“They have handed over all the facilities to Afghan forces,” added Massoud Pashtun, the director of Kandahar Airport.

An official handover is predicted to happen after the Muslim vacation of Eid, which ends on Saturday, they mentioned.

An Afghan military officer at Kandahar Airfield, who requested to not be named, advised AFP that authorities forces could be left uncovered by the pullout.

“It is now going to be very difficult for us to conduct operations,” he mentioned. “Our aircraft can’t fly at night so the night operations are going to be difficult.”

At its peak, the airfield was the second largest base for U.S. and worldwide troops and the primary airfield the place US forces have been stationed after the autumn of the Taliban in 2001.

It was additionally the centre of the most important drone operation by U.S. particular forces in Afghanistan.

The navy has for years been steadily lowering its presence there, accelerated after Washington struck a cope with the Taliban final yr to fully withdraw from Afghanistan in return for safety ensures.

However, the U.S. missed the May 1 deadline, extending it to September 11 — a transfer which angered the Taliban.

Although preventing between the US forces and the Taliban has stopped because the landmark settlement final yr, battles rage day by day between Afghan authorities forces and the militants, and have intensified because the missed deadline.

The Taliban and Afghan forces are at present in the course of a three-day ceasefire which has supplied a respite for Afghans throughout the nation as they have a good time the Muslim vacation.

The Pentagon on Tuesday mentioned it had up to now accomplished between six and 12% of its last withdrawal.

The following day, the Afghan defence ministry introduced that it had taken management of Camp Morehead, a U.S. base in Kabul the place American troops educated the Afghan navy.

The camp will now be utilized by Afghan particular forces.

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