The United States has officially begun withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, ending what President Biden called an “eternal war.”
US և NATO has been present in Afghanistan for almost 20 years.
But the withdrawal, which runs until 9/11, comes amid escalating violence as Afghan security forces prepare for retaliation.
The Taliban have warned that they are no longer bound by the agreement on targeting international troops.
Under a deal struck by militants under then-President Donald Trump last year, foreign troops were due to leave by May 1, when the Taliban halted attacks on international troops.
Officials told Reuters that the Taliban were currently protecting Western military bases from rival Islamist groups. That did not stop the Taliban from attacking Afghan civilians.
But US President Biden said last month that some troops would remain until 9/11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, citing the security situation.
A Taliban spokesman said: “This breach has in principle paved the way for that [Taliban fighters] to take any counter-action that it deems necessary against the occupying forces. “
But he said Taliban insurgents were waiting for instructions from leaders before launching attacks. Some analysts believe that it is possible to prevent a large-scale attack by the US to withdraw the deadline.
The United States, meanwhile, faces the logistical challenge of collecting and leaving. The AP report that the military is making an inventory of what will be sent back, what will be sold as junk in the markets of Afghanistan.
Why are US forces in Afghanistan?
About 3,000 people were killed in attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Islamist al-Qaeda terrorist group, was quickly identified as responsible.
The Taliban, the radical Islamists who ruled Afghanistan and supported bin Laden, refused to extradite him. Thus, a month after 9/11, the United States launched air strikes against Afghanistan.
When other countries joined the war, the Taliban were quickly ousted. But they not only disappeared. Their influence grew again, և they dug.
Since then, the United States and its allies have been fighting to stop the collapse of the Afghan government and to stop deadly attacks by the Taliban.
But the violence is still going on, isn’t it?
The withdrawal of US troops begins amid fierce clashes between the Taliban and government forces in the absence of a peace agreement.
An unknown number of people were killed in a violent fire overnight in Gazni province.
A bomb blast near the northern city of Pool al-Alam on Friday killed at least 30 people and injured 110 others, mostly schoolchildren.
US President Biden says the US withdrawal is justified because US forces are convinced that the country can no longer be a base for foreign jihadists to conspire against the West.
And Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says government forces are fully capable of keeping the insurgents at bay.
He claims that the withdrawal of US and NATO forces will eliminate the cause of Taliban hostilities, telling the Taliban:
But many do not share the optimism.
“Everyone is afraid that we may return to the dark days of the Taliban era,” Mena Novrozi, who works for a private radio station in Kabul, told AFP.
“Taliban” is the same. They have not changed. “The United States should have expanded its presence for at least a year or two.”
BBC Pakistan’s Afghanistan correspondent Sekunder Kerman says that after the end of peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government, despite international involvement, it seems inevitable that the conflict will continue.