BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO has begun withdrawing from its mission in Afghanistan following US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops, an international coalition official said on Monday.

According to the details, NATO officials said that “NATO allies had decided in mid-April to begin the withdrawal of Resolute Support Mission forces by May 1, and the evacuation has begun, it will be an organized, coordinated, and well-thought-out process. ”

NATO forces leaving Afghanistan

The safety of troops will be a top priority at every step and we are taking all necessary steps to protect them from harm, NATO officials – PC: AFP

Members of the US-backed coalition agreed to withdraw 9,600 troops from Afghanistan after Biden’s announcement this month to end Washington’s longest-running war.

The decision, which comes months after the deadline set by former US President Donald Trump, came amid fears it could allow the Taliban to regain power in the country.

Read more: Pakistan urges Taliban to remain committed to the Afghan peace process

The NATO official said the safety of coalition troops would be “a top priority at every step and we are taking all necessary steps to protect our personnel from harm”.

“Any Taliban attack during the evacuation will be fully responded. We plan to complete our evacuation in a few months,” he said.

However, the NATO official declined to give further details on the timeline regarding the withdrawal.

It should be noted that Joe Biden had said that the US troops’ withdrawal would be completed before the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which led to the US military intervention in Afghanistan.

Germany’s defense ministry says it plans to withdraw 1,300 troops by early July.

Read also: Taliban threatens ‘serious reaction’ to the US over delay in troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

NATO’s training and support mission, which includes about 2,500 US troops and relies heavily on Washington’s military assets, has personnel from 36 Allied member states and partner countries.

The United States has said it is temporarily deploying additional troops to protect international forces during the withdrawal, while also prolonging its naval presence in the region.

Trump struck a deal with the Taliban last year aimed at withdrawing the US and coalition troops from Afghanistan by early May.

The United States insists it has achieved its goal of preventing Afghanistan from becoming a “safe haven for terrorists” after rooting out the al-Qaeda network.

He said he feared a never-ending military intervention if he did not withdraw.

US General Mark Millie said it was not possible to predict the fate of Afghanistan after the withdrawal, but that it could lead to a “worst-case scenario” such as the overthrow of the government.

The alliance said in a statement last month that “NATO allies and partners will stand with Afghanistan, its people, and its institutions in promoting security and sustaining the benefits of the past 20 years.”

“The withdrawal of our troops does not mean ending our relations with Afghanistan, but it will be the beginning of a new chapter,” he said.


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