US soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan 100818 CREDIT US ARMY
Afghanistan

US Confirms Thousands Of Troops Have Withdrawn From Afghanistan

As planned, the United States has reduced its presence in Afghanistan to 8,600 personnel, withdrawing from five bases.

US soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan 100818 CREDIT US ARMY

The United States has withdrawn thousands of military personnel from Afghanistan, honouring a peace agreement with the Taliban.

The departure of American troops from the country, which was first pledged last year, means the US has reduced its presence in Afghanistan to 8,600 personnel, withdrawing from five bases.

The Pentagon's chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said the bases which had been used by the US have now been transferred to Afghan forces.

"US military presence in Afghanistan remains focused on capabilities, not numbers," Mr Hoffman said in a statement.

"We maintain the capabilities and authorities necessary to protect ourselves, our allies and partners, and US national interests.

"We will continue to execute our counterterrorism mission while simultaneously supporting the 38-nation NATO Resolute Support Train, Advise, Assist mission and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) as they work to secure peace in the country."

US American soldiers on foot patrol in Afghanistan 221218 CREDIT US ARMY
American personnel began leaving Afghanistan earlier this year (Picture: US Army).

The United States' agreement with the Taliban - signed in February - confirmed the plan to reduce the number of American personnel from around 13,000 to 8,600 by mid-July.

An initial withdrawal of hundreds of US military service members began in March.

However, the following month, the Taliban warned the peace deal with America was nearing a breaking point, accusing the US of carrying out drone attacks on civilians.

The conflict in Afghanistan has continued for more than 18 years, and at one point saw 100,000 troops on the ground.

There are currently nearly 1,000 British Army troops based in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission in the country. 

Britain ended its combat role in Afghanistan in 2014 but personnel remain deployed to the country in non-combat roles.

It has proven to be a difficult war for America, but one that US President Donald Trump vowed he would end during his presidential campaign.

Cover image: US Army.