The US navy continues Afghanistan’s withdrawal with out being deterred by the violence between Israel and Gaza
Lance Cpl. Patrick Reeder, with Combined Anti-Armor Team 2, patrols Nawa district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Oct. 28, 2009.
Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz
WASHINGTON – Since President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the US has completed up to 20% of the withdrawal process from the country, the US Central Command said on Tuesday.
Command monitored the removal of approximately 115 loads of equipment in C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft. More than 5,000 pieces of equipment that will not be handed over to the Afghan military have also been handed over to the Defense Logistics Agency for destruction.
The US has also officially handed over five facilities to the Afghan military. Central Command estimates the US has completed between 13% and 20% of the withdrawal process so far.
In April, Biden announced a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, ending America’s longest war.
The removal of approximately 3,000 US soldiers coincides with the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that spurred America’s entry into protracted wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Biden’s withdrawal schedule breaks with a proposed deadline agreed by the Trump administration and the Taliban last year. All foreign armed forces should have left Afghanistan by May 1 under this agreement.
Last month, the White House confirmed that US troops had begun withdrawing from Afghanistan. The Pentagon was proactively deploying additional troops and military equipment to protect the armed forces in the area, the government said.
The central command has not disclosed the number of troops currently stationed there due to operational security measures.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas will not curb the Biden government’s ambitions to complete a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I did not become aware of concerns about the overlap of effects on our Afghan withdrawal plans,” Psaki said when asked if troops could be held in the region for peacekeeping operations.
In a phone call Monday afternoon with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden voiced concerns about the rising civilian death toll and expressed support for a ceasefire.
Violence between militants from Israel and Hamas has increased for more than a week. Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip have resulted in at least 212 Palestinian deaths, according to the authorities there.
Meanwhile, Israel has said that more than 3,400 rockets have bombed its cities. At least 12 people have died in Israel.
The violence marked the largest escalation of the conflict in years. On Tuesday, the European Union was the last to call for a ceasefire.