The United States will leave hundreds of troops in Afghanistan even after the promised withdrawal from the war-torn country, according to a new report.
About 650 American troops are likely to stay in Afghanistan to provide security at the US Embassy after US forces leave the country later this summer, The Associated Press reported on Friday. Hundreds of more troops will also stay at the Kabul airport.
US officials told the news agency that the withdrawal could be completed in the next two weeks, which would be far ahead of President Joe Biden’s Sept. 11 deadline to withdraw nearly all troops from the country.
And several hundred US forces will remain at the Kabul airport, potentially until September, to assist Turkish troops who have taken up the task of providing security for the airport, according to the report.
The officials said the deployment will continue until formal plans are in place for Turkey to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport, the main gateway into Afghanistan.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on Thursday told reporters that security at the embassy in Kabul “would be beyond just what you would see in normal embassies.”
“You should expect that it'll be larger ... in keeping with the security situation in Afghanistan,” Kirby said.
Biden has announced that Washington would withdraw troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, twenty years after America launched its longest war against the impoverished country.
The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of the so-called war against terror.
Washington has spent more than trillions of dollars waging war on the impoverished country, which has left thousands of Afghan civilians and American soldiers dead.
The US military is nearing the end of pulling the roughly 3,500 remaining troops from Afghanistan.
Under a February 2020 “peace” deal between the Taliban and the Trump administration, Washington vowed to withdraw all 2,500 US troops remaining in Afghanistan. In return, the Taliban pledged to stop attacks on US troops.
The Taliban have said the United States has breached its agreement with the group for the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.