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US troops start final withdrawal from Afghanistan

KABUL: The commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army General Scott Miller, said an orderly withdrawal of foreign forces and the handing over of military bases and equipment to the Afghan forces had begun.

Earlier this month Biden announced that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan before Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the militant attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon that launched the Afghan war.

General Miller said he was acting on orders based on U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war, deeming the prolonged and intractable battle in Afghanistan no longer aligned with American priorities.

He added that the foreign forces will continue to have “the military means and capability to fully protect themselves during the ongoing retrograde and will support the Afghan security forces.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Taliban members with the Taliban Political Commission, and I’ve told them a return to violence, an effort to force a military decision, would be a tragedy for Afghanistan and the Afghan people,” Miller said.

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