We will hand over our bases to the Afghan security forces, US commander Gen. Scott Miller says
KABUL: The United States has begun withdrawing process of its troops from Afghanistan, the country’s top commander said on Sunday. “We will hand over all our bases to the Afghan security forces,” said US-Forces commander in Afghanistan, General Austin Scott Miller.
Briefing media in Kabul, Miller said the evacuation of some bases has already started in Afghanistan.
“We will hand over all our bases to the Afghan forces. A number of our bases have begun to evacuate”, he added.
General Miller said he talked to Taliban’s political commission and told them that “a return to violence and effort to force a military decision would be a tragedy for Afghanistan and the Afghan people.”
“My message to the people of Afghanistan is that it’s time for unity, it’s time to become together, it’s time to support your security forces,” Gen Miller said, adding “the Afghan security forces must be ready and they need the support of the Afghan people.”
Recently, US President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11.
Moreover, CIA Director William Burns reportedly made a surprise visit to Kabul this week to discuss the withdrawal process with Afghan officials.
The Associated Press reported that two credible sources had confirmed the visit. In Washington, the CIA declined to comment when asked by AP about the director’s schedule and the agency’s role in Afghanistan.
On Taliban relation with al-Qaeda Miller said that: “Taliban still have links to al-Qaeda.”
He also expressed concern about the escalation of violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“Violence from the Taliban is still high and this is having a negative impact on the peace process, and if the violence escalates after the withdrawal, it will be dangerous for the whole region,” Miller said.
The Taliban has intensified clashes around the country in the wake of the ongoing peace process. Reportedly, the Taliban are looking for a military victory after the withdrawal of foreign troops. However, the Afghan security officials assured that there would be no security vacuum once the US-led foreign soldiers exit in some four months.
The Western media outlets report the packing and transporting of foreign military equipment as the first steps of troop pullout from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
A spokesman of Afghan defense ministry said the Afghan security and defense forces were able to fill a vacancy made post-US withdrawal.
“The Afghan defense ministry is ready to take responsibility. We hold certain plans for the transfer process and we work on the plan. People should not worry and no vacancy will be made,” Fawad Aman said.
The New York Times in a report says that six B-52 bombers are deployed in the Middle East to provide security for US troops’ exit.