As Washington presses on with withdrawing the last of its troops from Afghanistan, an official on Tuesday said that in about 20 days, the US military will hand over its main Bagram Air Base to Afghan forces.
Bagram Air Base was built by the Soviets in the 1980s and is the biggest military facility used by US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Moreover, during the peak of US military involvement in Afghanistan, ten of thousands of troops stationed there.
a US defense official said,
“I can confirm we will hand over Bagram Air Base.”
On the other hand, an Afghan security official said the handover was expected in about 20 days and the defense ministry had set up special committees to manage it.
It should be mentioned here that Washington has already handed over several military bases to Afghan forces before May 1, when it started the final withdrawal of troops.
Taliban Threatens US Over Delaying In Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan
The Taliban had threatened Washington in March 2021 with dire consequences if it does not abide by the May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan.
The Taliban issued the warning during a press conference in Moscow, according to the reports.
The administration of US President Joe Biden says it is reviewing an agreement reached with the Taliban with the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
Biden told ABC News in an interview that May 1 could be the deadline, but that it would not be long if the deadline was extended.
Sohail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, told reporters that “they have to go and the withdrawal of US troops beyond May 1 would be a violation of the agreement.”
“And we will not violate the agreement, which will result in a backlash,” he said.
Member Sohail Shaheen did not elaborate on what the response would be, but in compliance with the agreement he signed in February 2020, the Taliban did not attack US or NATO forces, not even the last few.
There has also been an increase in unannounced bombings and targeted killings over the months.
“We hope that this will not happen, they will give up and we will focus on a solution to the Afghan problem and a peaceful settlement so that a political roadmap can be reached and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire can be achieved,” the Taliban leader said.
He also confirmed that the Taliban stood by the demands of the Islamic government.
Sohail Shaheen did not elaborate on the structure of the Islamic government.
He also did not say whether the Taliban would accept the election but stressed that President Ashraf Ghani’s government did not live up to his definition of an Islamic government.
It should be noted that along with Russia, China and Pakistan, the United States has also demanded an immediate ceasefire from the warring parties in Afghanistan.
In addition, a Taliban delegation is meeting in Moscow with the Afghan government to discuss future plans for ending the war in Afghanistan.