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US turns over base to Afghan forces in risky Helmand Province, withdrawal as much as 6% full: army

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The U.S. army has accomplished the primary facility turnover to Afghanistan forces within the nation, marking a big step in President Biden’s promised withdrawal.

Biden set a goal to withdraw troops from the nation by Sept. 11, a four-month delay from former President Trump’s authentic Might 1 deadline. U.S. army forces have labored since Biden’s announcement to arrange for the withdrawal by retrograding supplies and destroying tools.

Moreover, the army has handed over management of Camp Antonik — positioned in the risky Helmand Province — to the Afghan Nationwide Military, it mentioned Tuesday.

Handover ceremony at Camp Anthonic, from U.S. Army, to Afghan Defense Forces in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 2, 2021. 

Handover ceremony at Camp Anthonic, from U.S. Military, to Afghan Protection Forces in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Might 2, 2021.  (Ministry of Protection Press Workplace/Handout by way of REUTERS)

With this newest transfer, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) estimates that between 2% and 6% of the withdrawal course of has now been accomplished.

The U.S. additionally moved the equal of roughly 60 C-17 plane-loads of fabric in a foreign country and turned over greater than 1,300 items of kit for destruction.

Taliban assaults have elevated since the withdrawal started, with current combating in Helmand leaving 100 Taliban useless.

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Biden’s plan to withdraw the roughly 2,500 American troops nonetheless stationed in Afghanistan has acquired bipartisan backlash, with Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., saying it could be a “grave mistake” to withdraw earlier than making certain the Taliban has been defeated.

“Leaders in each events, together with me, supplied criticism when the prior administration floated the idea of a reckless withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan,” McConnell mentioned, referring to the unique Trump-era timeline.

Regardless of the criticism, the U.S. army initiated the withdrawal on April 25.

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Within the two weeks main as much as the beginning of the withdrawal, the Afghan Ministry of Inside reported that the Taliban performed 62 bomb blasts and 6 suicide bombings, killing 63 civilians and wounding 180 extra. Understandably, many are involved that the assaults will solely enhance as soon as the U.S. army has totally withdrawn.

The Taliban have issued imprecise warnings in current months to take motion if the U.S. doesn’t adhere to the withdrawal. 

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The army has mentioned it is going to solely present an approximate vary of the share of the exit course of. “As the accountable and orderly exit continues, the scale of the vary will enhance to protect operational safety,” the press launch mentioned. 

Fox Information’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report. 

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