Poland pulls out troops from Afghanistan as NATO wrapping up 'largest operation'

08:52 PM | 24 Jun, 2021
Poland pulls out troops from Afghanistan as NATO wrapping up 'largest operation'

WARSAW – Poland will complete withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan at the end of June, President Andrzej Duda announced on Thursday, ending military involvement in NATO-led two-decade long war.

“At the end of June, after 20 years, we are ending our military involvement in the largest NATO operation in history,” Duda wrote on Twitter.

He added that the first Polish troops will return to the country on Thursday night.

“In line with the decisions of the Allies, we decided not to extend the mission of the Polish Military Contingent in Afghanistan,” he said.

In April, NATO allies agreed to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in coordination with a US pull-out by September 11.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon said that it had completed “greater than 50%” of its task of withdrawing troops and equipment from Afghanistan as the US is going to end its longest war this year.

The US military has removed “the equivalent of approximately 500 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan,” according to the US Central Command (Centcom).

Nearly 13,000 pieces of equipment, which will not be handed over to the Afghan forces, have been given to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposal.

“The 13,000 pieces of equipment are comprised almost entirely of federal excess personal property. This equipment does not consist of defensive articles or are considered to be major equipment,” reads the official press release.

The US has officially handed over six facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, it added.

“We anticipate additional transfers of bases and military assets in the future which will support the ANDSF/GIRoA as they work to stabilize and defend their nation.”

In April, US President Joe Biden announced a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, that will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Under the deal brokered last year by the Trump administration with the Taliban, the foreign forces were bound to leave Afghanistan by May 1 but Biden extended it, enraging the former rulers of Afghanistan.