U.S. Central Command reported Tuesday that close to 20 percent of the U.S. troops withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete. The Pentagon confirmed that the Taliban have yet to attack U.S. troops, as the terrorist group claimed they would.
President Joe Biden announced on April 14 that the U.S. intends to pull around 3,000 troops from the Middle East by Sept. 11. The Department of Defense has thus far turned over five buildings to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, as well as 5,000 equipment pieces. At the order of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the U.S. flew in six B-52 Bombers, 12 F-18 fighter jets, and 600 special forces troops to facilitate the withdrawal process. 115 loads of C-17 equipment have been turned over.
“The withdrawal continues at pace, with nothing more than some minor harassing attacks that have had no impact,” John Kirby, a spokesman for The Pentagon told reporters. “We certainly hope that that remains the case going forward. We’re not going to take anything just on hope and face value. We have to assume and we have to plan for the potential that it could be resisted, it could be opposed by the Taliban, so we’re continuing to take all the right precautions.”
On May 1, the official spokesman for the Taliban tweeted that the terrorist group will “take every counteraction it deems appropriate against occupying forces.”
May 1 was originally the date then-President Donald Trump pledged to conclude the two-decade long U.S. presence in Afghanistan. The White House said Monday that the ensuing Israeli and Hamas conflict would have no impact on the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East.
For security reasons, the U.S. government has not specified the exact number of troops who are currently stationed in Afghanistan. The Trump administration signed a peace treaty last year with the Taliban to initiate the withdrawal process. However, a clause in the agreement said Congress would have to receive an opinion from the Pentagon on U.S. national security impacts prior to executing the decision.