Biden says US troops drawdown in Afghanistan is on track

Some troops will remain in September as part of a ‘rational drawdown with our allies’, says American president


Reuters July 02, 2021
US President Joe Biden speaks about the administration's response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic at the White House in Washington, US, March 2, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON:

US President Joe Biden on Friday said the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is "on track" but it will not be completed within the next few days.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Biden said that some US forces will still be in Afghanistan in September as part of a "rational drawdown with our allies."

Biden in April set the deadline for completion of the pullout from America's longest conflict as the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda on the United States that prompted the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Also read: Complete Afghan withdrawal imminent as last US troops leave Bagram

Biden's comments came hours after the last American troops left Bagram Air Field, which served as the main US military base in the country, leaving behind a piece of the World Trade Centre buried there two decades ago.

The departure of US-led forces, fierce fighting that has seen Taliban advances around the country and stalled peace talks have fuelled fears that Afghanistan is on a path to all-out civil war that could restore the insurgents to power.

Biden said he is concerned that President Ashraf Ghani's beleaguered government deal with "internal issues" in order to "generate the kind of support they need nationwide."

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