US army leaves Kandahar Airfield as the drawdown continues in Afghanistan

WION Web Team
KandaharUpdated: May 14, 2021, 05:29 PM IST

File photo.  Photograph:(Reuters)

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This is the final phase of ending America's “forever war” in Afghanistan after 20 years formally began on May 1

US armed forces have left one of the largest military bases in Afghanistan, the Kandahar Airfield in the southern province once dominated by Taliban, US media reported citing security officials.

The airfield was turned over to the Afghan National Defence Security Forces earlier this week, the officials said, in a move that signals the urgency of the US effort to fully withdraw from the country by September 11.

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

This is the final phase of ending America's “forever war” in Afghanistan after 20 years. 

US President Joe Biden had set May 1 as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining forces — about 2,500-3,500 US troops and about 7,000 NATO soldiers.

Taliban attacks in Afghanistan have increased as US and NATO forces begin their exit.

The Pentagon has continued to claim that small, harassing attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan have not had a significant impact on the withdrawal of US forces.

Biden administration officials have also said there have been no attacks against US forces during the pullout process.

(With inputs from agencies)