The Pentagon on Tuesday announced troop draw down from five bases in Afghanistan and shrunk its forces in the country as per an agreement signed with Taliban earlier this year.
On February 29, the United States agreed to reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and withdraw from five bases. “We have met this obligation. U.S. forces in Afghanistan remain in the mid-8,000s and five bases formerly occupied by U.S. forces have been transferred to our Afghan partners,” Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement today.
The closed U.S. bases are in Helmand, Uruzgan, Paktika and Laghman provinces, according to Afghan media reports. The significantly larger US bases in Bagram, outside of the capital Kabul and Kandahar Air Field - remain operational.
“We have reached Day 135, a key milestone in implementation of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement. The U.S. has worked hard to carry out the 1st phase of its commitments under the Agreement, including to reduce forces & depart five bases. NATO troops have come down in proportional numbers,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, tweeted July 14.
“As we look to the next phase of implementation under the Agreement, our approach will remain conditions based. We will press for completion of prisoner releases, reduction of violence, complete delivery on counter-terrorism commitments & start of & progress in intra-Afghan negotiations,” the official added.