US troops to leave Afghanistan by September 11

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US President Joe Biden is set to announce that US troops will leave Afghanistan by 11 September, officials have told US media.

President Joe Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by September, missing a crucial May 1 deadline that was previously broked by the Trump administration, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

Biden’s removal of U.S. forces will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that triggered the nation’s entry into what would become its longest war. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops from the war-torn country could happen well before September.

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Mr Biden had previously said the 1 May deadline would be tough to meet.

The deal signed in February 2020 said the US and its Nato allies would withdraw all troops in 14 months if the Taliban upheld its promises, including not allowing al-Qaeda or other militants to operate in areas it controlled and proceeding with national peace talks.

Mr. Biden is expected to formally announce the decision Wednesday, officials said, revising a Trump administration plan for a withdrawal by May 1.

Although the Taliban, a hard line Islamist movement, stopped attacks on international forces as part of the historic agreement, it has continued to fight the Afghan government.

There are fears that if foreign military forces withdraw before a lasting agreement is reached, the Taliban might seize power.

US troops training the Afghan Army 215th Corp in Helmand, July 2016

However, President Joe Biden has hinted for weeks that he was going to let the deadline lapse.

The senior administration official said NATO troops would also follow the same withdrawal timeline. It’s possible US troops will be withdrawn “well before” September 11, the official said, saying the date was the last possible time when remaining personnel would leave.
The official said the US had communicated to the Taliban “in no uncertain terms” that attacks on US troops during the withdrawal process would be met with retaliation.

At least 2,500 troops are thought to be in the country as part of the ongoing war launched after the September 11 attacks in New York.

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