The US-backed Afghan government’s Ministry of Defense (M0D) said Friday that the US handed over a key military base in Kabul as Washington’s withdrawal from Afghanistan continues to move along. Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, participated in the handover ceremony.
“The ‘New Kabul Compound’ was submitted from US to MoD in a ceremony … General Miller, emphasized the international community’s commitment to continue financial and security force assistance to Afghan forces,” Afghanistan’s MoD wrote on Twitter.
As of Tuesday, the US had handed over five military facilities to Afghan forces, according to a weekly update on the Afghanistan withdrawal from US Central Command (CENTCOM). Kandahar Airfield, which was once one of the largest US bases in the country, was handed over earlier in May.
Locals reported to Afghanistan’s Tolo News that the US is hauling scrapped equipment out of Bagram Air Base, the largest and most fortified US facility in Afghanistan.
CENTCOM said Tuesday that the withdrawal process was between 16 and 25 percent complete, although the command is not disclosing troop numbers. A report from The New York Times said the US and its allies could be out by early to mid-July, well before the September 11th deadline set by President Biden. On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the withdrawal is “slightly” ahead of schedule, although he offered no timetable.
The US will likely try to leave a small troop presence in Afghanistan under the guise of protecting its diplomatic mission. Sources told The Sun that the US is considering leaving 600 Marines to guard the embassy, but at this point, nothing is confirmed.