Afghanistan

Afghanistan: 'World Is Watching' British Troops As Withdrawal Deadline Looms

A former commander who served in the country says UK personnel are "under an extreme amount of pressure".

A former military commander in Afghanistan has spoken of the "awful human situation" facing British troops as the 31 August withdrawal date approaches.

British Army personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade are deployed on Operation Pitting, supporting the evacuation of British nationals and former British staff in the country.

Retired Lieutenant General James Bashall, is the former commander of 2 PARA in Afghanistan.

He told Forces News: "They're under an extreme amount of pressure, not least because the world is watching, but for any soldiers involved in that sort of operation it requires a great deal of diplomacy, guile, precision and considerable humanity to have to deal with the awful human situation which they are confronted with at very close quarters."

Mr Bashall said tension could increase as the Taliban have said they will stop Afghans from leaving the country, meaning British troops would have to leave behind some potentially threatened by the new regime.

If the 31 August withdrawal deadline remains in place, British troops will have to leave before the US and hand over tasks and responsibilities to other nations.

Although the personnel from 2 PARA regularly train for missions similar to Operation Pitting, Mr Bashall says many may need to seek counselling to confront the human aspects of the mission later on.

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on the Forces News website.