U.S. Leaves Largest Afghan Base as Full Withdrawal Nears

KABUL, Afghanistan—American troops and their Western allies have departed Bagram, Afghanistan’s largest air base, officials said on Friday, turning over to the Afghan government the sprawling outpost from which the United States waged war for nearly two decades.

With little fanfare and no public ceremony, American troops left the base on Thursday night, said U.S. and Afghan officials.

The Afghan military “will protect the base and use it to combat terrorism,” said Fawad Aman, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense.

The closure of Bagram, a symbol of America’s costly adventure in Afghanistan, comes just weeks before the planned withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, who entered the country in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The U.S. will leave a contingent of 650 troops to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul, the country’s capital.

The departure comes at a perilous time Afghanistan. Some U.S. intelligence estimates predict that the Afghan government could fall to their rivals, the Taliban, in as little as six months after the Americans complete their withdrawal.

With a line of snow-capped mountains as its backdrop, Bagram airfield was built in the 1950s by the Soviets. It became a vital military hub during the Soviet Union’s 10-year occupation of Afghanistan.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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