The withdrawal of more than half of the American soldiers from Afghanistan has been completed, announced the US Central Command on Tuesday.
It announced that the Department of Defense has so far retrograded the equivalent of approximately 500 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan and have turned nearly 13,000 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition.
“The 13,000 pieces of equipment are comprised almost entirely of federal excess personal property. This equipment does not consist of defensive articles or are considered to be major equipment,” said the US Central Command.
Violence has surged in the war-weary country since the US announced its troops will leave by Sept. 11. According to Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, more than 250 civilian casualties, allegedly caused by the Taliban, were recorded in May.
The Taliban, however, have rejected the government’s claim.
The US has so far handed over six facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense. “US Central Command estimates that we have completed greater than 50% of the entire retrograde process,” announced the Central Command.
The advancing Taliban in Afghanistan on Tuesday claimed capturing one more district in the northern Faryab province amid escalating violence leading to killings on all sides.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, Ruhollah Ahmadzai, said the security forces had gone on a strategic retreat to avoid civilian casualties and have a comprehensive plan to retake these areas. “The situation in those areas (fallen to the Taliban) will change for the better in the near future,” he said.
According to the ministry, in the past 24 hours, 91 Taliban militants were killed and 63 injured in the ongoing clean-up operations.