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Afghan Troops Take Over Bagram Airbase After US Withdrawal

The Americans had controlled the military center for 20 years, the epicenter of their war against the Taliban since 2001.

The Bagram base has a long history. Located 50 kilometers from the capital of Afghanistan , Kabul , it was built by the Soviets in 1950 and became the main military base of the Soviet Union during the invasion of the Central Asian country in early 1979 .

When the USSR ceased to exist, in 1991, the base was abandoned. It was reborn in 2001, when the United States Army took over its facilities to start another war . Now, this Saturday, the military center will pass into the hands of the Afghan government.

Kabul government sources have told the AP agency that the air base is already empty of US soldiers. A clear sample of the intention of the president of the USA, Joe Biden , to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible .

The deadline set for the total withdrawal of the troops was September 11, 2021 – just the 20th anniversary of the attack on the twin towers of New York – but all to indicate that the withdrawal of the US military and those of its allies of NATO will be much earlier: this same month of July.

Gone are those years, a little over a decade ago, when the Bagram base housed 100,000 US soldiers, and was the epicenter of the Washington government’s fight against the Taliban . The US landed in Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, in what then-US President George W. Bush called the “war on terror.”

“A positive step”
“We view the departure of all US forces from Bagram as a positive step . We wish the withdrawal of all foreign forces from our country. This is in the interest of all of them and of all Afghans. The Afghans will now be able to move closer to peace and security, ”Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Friday .

The reality, however, is just the opposite: since the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban was formalized – negotiated by the Donald Trump Administration – the Taliban began a vast offensive against the security forces and the Afghan state. that lasts more than a year. In recent weeks it has worsened : in a few days they have conquered several dozen territories and provinces that until now were under the control of Kabul.

The peace agreement between the US and the Taliban was not to end the war: it was to facilitate US withdrawal . In return, the Taliban promised not to allow attacks abroad to be planned from their territory.

This Thursday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Washington to meet with Biden. According to the White House , Biden promised him economic and diplomatic aid . In the decision to withdraw the US soldiers, however, there is no going back.

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