Most British troops have been withdrawn from Afghanistan, ending Britain’s official role in the two-decade-long war. The withdrawal comes at a time when the Taliban are taking advantage and many fear that the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country could lead to civil war in Afghanistan.
Embed from Getty Images
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared to the British Parliament: “All British troops involved in the NATO mission in Afghanistan are now returning home.” He praised what British forces had achieved, while also acknowledging the “perils” facing Afghanistan.
Mr Johnson noted: “For obvious reasons, I will not disclose the schedule of our withdrawal, although I can inform Congress that most of our personnel have left. [Afghanistan].”
British military forces were first deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 following al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The British military played a key role in the Western coalition’s combat operations in Afghanistan until 2014. A total of 457 British soldiers were killed in the country.
In April, NATO announced that its troops would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan after US President Joe Biden decided to withdraw US troops from the country before 9/11.
Since then, violence has broken out across Afghanistan.
Last week, the United States abandoned Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, a longtime base serving US military operations in the country, marking the end of the country’s longest war. U.S. The Pentagon announced that the withdrawal of US troops is 90% complete.
Prime Minister Johnson said he did not underestimate the challenges facing Afghanistan, and affirmed that the British government would continue to provide development assistance to the country.
Mr. Johnson emphasized: “I hope no one comes to the wrong conclusion that our withdrawal means the UK has ended its commitment to Afghanistan, we will not turn our backs. [với Afghanistan], nor under any illusions about the dangers of the current situation and what might happen in the future.”
Civil War Warning
A small number of British troops will remain in Afghanistan to protect British diplomats in the country, the British Ministry of Defense said.
General Nick Carter, Chief of the Defense Staff and head of the British armed forces, said it was possible that Afghanistan could go down the road to civil war as US and other foreign troops leave the country.
He told reporters the recent news on Afghanistan was “quite serious and bleak” and it “makes sense” that the country’s government would collapse without foreign troops there.
General Carter predicted that Afghanistan could see a situation like the country’s civil war in the 1990s “where one will see a culture of warlordism and one can see important institutions such as the security forces divided by ethnicity or lineage.”
He further explained: “If that happens, I guess the Taliban will control part of the country. But, of course, they won’t control the whole country.”
Prime Minister Johnson declared that Britain can be proud of its role in Afghanistan. The US-led coalition supported Afghanistan’s Northern Coalition to overthrow the Taliban government, which Washington accused of harboring al-Qaeda after the terrorist organization carried out a terrorist attack on the United States on June 1. September 11, 2001.
Mr. Johnson stressed that since the overthrow of the Taliban government, the country has made many improvements in women’s rights and education, and there have been no terrorist attacks on Western countries. from Afghanistan.
The British Prime Minister stated: “No one should doubt the achievements of the past 20 years, but we cannot downplay the difficult reality of the current situation. It is true that the Taliban is progressing rapidly in rural areas but that does not mean…. They will guarantee a victory over the entire territory of Afghanistan.”
Gia Huy (According to Channelnewsasia)