European allies are pushing for the US to delay the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and give other NATO members more time and support to withdraw from the country, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials.
As noted, Washington promised to provide logistical support to its coalition partners during the withdrawal of their troops. However, some countries said that they would not be able to leave Afghanistan in time, and asked to leave the US military after July 4.
Earlier, the Tolo News channel reported, citing sources, that the United States and the radical Taliban movement are discussing the possibility of completing the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by the beginning of July.
According to the WSJ, some countries, in particular Germany, asked the United States to postpone the withdrawal from the Middle Eastern state until July 18. The US authorities responded that the withdrawal could be delayed for two weeks or longer to meet the requests of the allies.
Another complication, according to unnamed officials, is that Turkey, which has been providing security at the airport in Kabul for years, has informed the US and NATO that it may also withdraw its troops. According to the sources, the potential withdrawal of Turkish forces may prompt some Western countries to reconsider plans to keep even reduced diplomatic contingents in the country. One possible alternative for airport security is international mercenaries, but, as the newspaper notes, they are unlikely to be left without troops to guarantee their protection.
The United States and its NATO allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan in 2001. It was held as part of the “Enduring Freedom” campaign, which was a response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
In 2014, Afghanistan, as well as the United States and NATO, signed a security agreement allowing the allies to maintain a limited military presence in the country. On January 1, 2015, the non-combat mission «Resolute Support» replaced the combat operation. In 2020, the United States and the radical Taliban movement signed the first agreement in more than 18 years of war, which provides for the withdrawal of foreign troops in May of this year, with the end of violence in the country. Currently, there are less than ten thousand military personnel of NATO and the alliance’s partner states in Afghanistan, including 2.5 thousand American troops. Their main task is to train and train the Afghan security forces.