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Afghanistan: “Most British troops withdrew quietly” after 20 years of campaigning | World news

The majority of British troops have quietly withdrawn from Afghanistan, with flag-lowering ceremonies marking the final stages of a nearly 20-year campaign, according to Sky News.

Boris Johnson is set to chair a National Security Council meeting on Monday to decide the future shape of Britain’s footprint in the country, amid growing security concerns as the Afghan government is losing ground due to resurgence Taliban and the threat of civil war looms.

British special forces could retain a presence, while a small number of regular troops could be needed if the UK decides – as is likely, according to a Whitehall source – to keep an embassy open.

The RAF Puma detachment serving in Afghanistan in support of the NATO Resolute Support mission since March 2015 is now back at RAF Benson, as NATO forces withdraw from the country.

Developments emerged as expectations grew much larger withdrawal by the United States of thousands of its forces from Afghanistan could be completed in a few days.

The UK National Security Council meeting has already been delayed twice – and could be again – but time is running out to finalize and make the UK position known.

“We’re coming to a tipping point,” a second Whitehall source said.

Britain reduced its presence by some 750 troops as part of a NATO mission in Afghanistan after the US president Joe biden decided to withdraw its troops before September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attacks on his country that sparked the US-led invasion in the first place.

In reality, the US exit is happening at a much faster rate, although Reuters has reported that around 650 US troops may remain to protect the US embassy in Kabul.

Other NATO allies are also making quiet departures.

US troops are expected to leave Afghanistan in September.  Photo: Associated press
US troops are expected to leave Afghanistan in September. Photo: Associated press

On Wednesday, Germany and Italy declared the end of their military missions in Afghanistan and the last Polish troops returned home.

Details on the UK release have been kept very low key, no official images have yet been released of any of the …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-30 20:08:00

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