FORT DRUM, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: U.S. Army soldiers retrieve their duffel bags after they returned home from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan on December 10, 2020 at Fort Drum, New York. The 10th Mountain Division soldiers who arrived this week are under orders to isolate with family at home or with fellow troops in barracks, finishing their quarantine just before Christmas. In the waning days of the Trump Administration and after 19 years of war, the U.S. military continues to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The Pentagon on Tuesday completed “greater than 50%” of its task of withdrawing troops and equipment from Afghanistan as the United States is going to end its longest war this year.

The US military has removed “the equivalent of approximately 500 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan,” according to a US Central Command (Centcom) statement issued on Tuesday.

Nearly 13,000 pieces of equipment, which will not be handed over to the Afghan forces, have been given to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposal.

“The 13,000 pieces of equipment are comprised almost entirely of federal excess personal property. This equipment does not consist of defensive articles or are considered to be major equipment,” reads the statement.

The US has officially handed over six facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, it added.

“We anticipate additional transfers of bases and military assets in the future which will support the ANDSF/GIRoA as they work to stabilise and defend their nation.”

In April, President Joe Biden had announced a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, that will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Under the deal brokered last year by the Trump administration with the Taliban, the foreign forces were bound to leave Afghanistan by May 1 but Biden extended it, enraging the former rulers of Afghanistan.

As the US troops pull out began, the Taliban have accelerated their activities as they have taken control of some more areas.

Ruhollah Ahmadzai, a defence ministry spokesman, said that Afghan forces have designed a comprehensive plan to retake the areas and suppress the militants. 

He said that the Taliban’s control on some areas did not reflect their strength, adding that security forces had withdrawn from these areas to prevent civilian casualties.


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