UK military joins US in vacating troops from Afghanistan despite resurgence of Taliban

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Britain has said that it would bring the last of its regular troops home from Afghanistan over the weekend, ending its official role in a two-decades-long conflict in the country.

This is despite reports of the Taliban’s resurgence across the country.

Defence sources told the Guardian that the exit of the last of the UK’s 750 soldiers – part of a Nato stabilisation and training mission – is expected to be complete “in the next few days” before formal announcements on both sides of the Atlantic.

Military sources indicated that British forces were due out by Sunday, 4 July, with the RAF having rescheduled flights to complete the evacuation.

The UK exit has been scheduled to match the final departure of US forces, with Washington expected to announce their departure is complete on one of America’s most significant national holidays.

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A mission of 650 US soldiers will reportedly stay but with their only mission to secure the American embassy in Kabul.

The withdrawal saw the Americans hand over the strategic Bagram airbase north of Kabul to the Afghan security forces on Friday.

The US President, Joe Biden, had pledged to bring all troops home by September.

The schedule was, however, accelerated, despite rapid Taliban advances, the raising of new militias to fight them and warnings of civil war.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a statement to parliament early next week, marking the change and outlining the UK’s future diplomatic presence and military posture towards Afghanistan.

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