Anonymous troops Afghanistan CROWN COPYRIGHT
Afghanistan

Afghanistan: UK To 'Draw Down' As Wallace Fires 'Forceful Response' Warning

Roughly 750 British troops remain in Afghanistan in a training capacity.

Anonymous troops Afghanistan CROWN COPYRIGHT

The Defence Secretary has warned that any attacks on allied troops in Afghanistan will be "met with a forceful response" as he confirmed the withdrawal of British troops.

Ben Wallace said the security of UK personnel still in the country "remains our priority" as he announced the "drawdown".

In a statement made after the confirmed withdrawal of NATO forces from 1 May, Mr Wallace said: "The people of Afghanistan deserve a peaceful and stable future.

"As we draw down, the security of our people currently serving in Afghanistan remains our priority and we have been clear that attacks on allied troops will be met with a forceful response.

"The British public and our Armed Forces community, both serving and veterans, will have lasting memories of our time in Afghanistan.

"Most importantly, we must remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, who will never be forgotten."

NATO said it hopes to complete its withdrawal "within a few months".

Coalition troops, including British personnel, have had a presence in the country since 2001, with about 750 UK troops currently in Afghanistan in a training capacity.

British Puma helicopter flies over Kabul MARCH 2018 CREDIT BFBS
A British puma helicopter flies over the Afghan capital, Kabul, in 2018.

It comes after US President Joe Biden announced he will withdraw all 2,500 American troops from Afghanistan by 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that were coordinated from the Asian country.

Speaking on Tuesday morning ahead of Mr Biden's announcement confirming the move, American Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said the US fulfilled "the goals that we set out to achieve" in Afghanistan.

Former defence minister and Chair of the Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood, earlier warned that the US' withdrawal decision "risks losing the peace".

The senior Conservative MP told Times Radio that Washington's move would make it "very difficult" for British troops to remain in the battle-ravaged country and that the subsequent vacuum could allow extremism to "regroup".

Cover image: File image of British troops in Afghanistan (Picture: Crown Copyright).