Afghan military officials said that the United States left Bagram Airport in Afghanistan after nearly 20 years, shut off electricity and slipped away at night without notifying the new Afghan commander of the base, who was more than two hours away after they left. Later, it was discovered that the Americans were leaving.
The United States announced on Friday that it has completely Free up the largest airport By the end of August, all soldiers except for hundreds of American troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
“we [heard] There are rumors that the Americans have left Bagram…Finally at 7:00 in the morning, we learned that they have confirmed that they have left Bagram,” Bagram’s new commander Mir Asadullah Koshi General Stani told the Associated Press.
On Monday, the Afghan army displayed a huge air base, allowing reporters to visit the heavily guarded compound.
A senior Afghan government official told Reuters: “They (the Americans) have now been completely evacuated, and everything is under our control, including watchtowers, air traffic and hospitals.”
Bagram has long been a symbol of Western troops deployed to support the Afghan government, and now faces a Taliban attack with the withdrawal of most American and NATO forces.
Taliban Occupied zone Over the weekend in Badakhshan and Kandahar provinces, Afghan government forces fled across the border with Tajikistan.Taliban fighters last week Launch an attack In the central city of Afghanistan, Ghazni, on the highway connecting the capital Kabul with the southern province of Kandahar.
In Bagram on Monday, dozens of vehicles left by the United States were parked on the site, while other vehicles were driving nearby along with Afghan officials and personnel. The radar wavered as the soldiers stood guard, and hundreds of Afghan security personnel moved into the barracks that once held American soldiers.
The Afghan soldiers who wandered around the base where they had seen as many as 100,000 American troops criticized how the United States left Bagram.
Afghan soldier Nematullah said: “Overnight, they left like this. Overnight they lost all their goodwill for 20 years and didn’t tell the Afghan soldiers patrolling outside the area.” He asked to use only one of his names.
Afghan military officials said that before the Afghan army took control of the airport, a small group of looters ransacked barracks one after another and rummaged through huge storage tents before being expelled from the Afghan capital Kabul about an hour’s drive away.
“At first, we thought they might be the Taliban,” Abdul Raouf, who has served for 10 years, told the Associated Press. He said that the United States called from Kabul Airport and said, “We are at Kabul Airport.”
US Colonel Sonny Leggett, the official spokesperson for the US military in Afghanistan, did not respond to the specific complaints of many Afghan soldiers. Instead, he referred to a statement issued by the US last week.
The statement stated that in mid-April President Joe Biden announced U.S. will withdraw Its army comes from Afghanistan. Leggett said in a statement that they coordinated their departure with Afghan leaders.
The United States announced on July 2 that it had completely withdrawn from the country’s largest airport before the Pentagon said it would complete its final withdrawal at the end of August.
The new commander of the airport, Kosistani, insisted that despite the Taliban’s series of victories on the battlefield, the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces can still hold on to this heavily guarded base. The airport also includes a prison holding approximately 5,000 prisoners, many of whom are allegedly members of the Taliban.
At the same time, the communities and markets in the shadow of the base are preparing for the next thing.
“It’s not a problem for us to have foreign powers [here] Otherwise they will leave, but the fact that the Taliban will take over the area at any time will affect our work,” shop owner Wasim Shirzad told Reuters.
Another shopkeeper, Nematullah Ferdaws, agreed: “Most shopkeepers don’t invest…because they are hesitant about the future of the country.”