File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
There are about 750 British soldiers in Afghanistan, who would struggle without US support because of the reliance on US bases and infrastructure, according to the Times
Britain will withdraw nearly all its soldiers from Afghanistan following the US plan to withdraw its troops by September 11, 2021, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Britain has drawn up plans to hand over control of the academy in Kabul where troops help to train Afghan soldiers to the government, the newspaper said.
There are about 750 British soldiers in Afghanistan, who would struggle without US support because of the reliance on US bases and infrastructure, according to the Times.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining 2,500 US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after the al Qaeda attacks that triggered America's longest war, US officials said on Tuesday.
The disclosure of the plan came on the same day that the US intelligence community released a gloomy outlook for Afghanistan, forecasting 'low' chances of a peace deal this year and warning that its government would struggle to hold the Taliban insurgency at bay if the US-led coalition withdraws support.
Biden's decision would miss a May 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed to with the Taliban by his predecessor Donald Trump. The insurgents had threatened to resume hostilities against foreign troops if that deadline was missed. But Biden would still be setting a near-term withdrawal date, potentially allaying Taliban concerns.
The Democratic president will publicly announce his decision on Wednesday, the White House said. A senior Biden administration official said the pullout would begin before May 1 and could be complete well before the September 11 deadline. Significantly, it will not would be subject to further conditions, including security or human rights.
"The president has judged that a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe in staying in Afghanistan forever," the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a briefing with reporters.
(With inputs from agencies)