Germany and Italy complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan
Germany and Italy have pulled out their last soldiers from Afghanistan, putting an end to their nearly two-decade military presence in Afghanistan alongside the United States and other NATO member states.
Germany completed its military withdrawal on Tuesday, June 29, and Italy announced its complete withdrawal from Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 30.
“Our last troops left Afghanistan this night after almost 20 years and are on their way home,” the Reuters quoted German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as saying in a statement on Tuesday.
Germany’s military mission in Afghanistan has been the deadliest mission since the World War II. A total of 59 German soldiers died in Afghanistan, including 35 of them killed on the battlefields and as a result of militant attacks, during the country’s military presence in Afghanistan.
“This is the end of a historic chapter, of an intensive mission which has tested the Bundeswehr and in which the Bundeswehr has proven itself in combat,” the German defense minister stated.
According to Italy’s Defense Minister, Lorenzo Guerini, a total of 53 Italian soldiers died while serving in Afghanistan and 723 others sustained injuries over past 20 years.
“But the commitment of the international community, Italy first, for Afghanistan does not end here but will continue in other forms, starting from the reinforcement of development cooperation (aid) and support for the Afghan republican institutions”.
This comes as Afghanistan is witnessing unprecedented hike in increased violence across the country with the Taliban militants have collapsed over 70 districts since May 01, beginning of the foreign troop’s withdrawal.
Troops’ withdrawal is part of a US-Taliban peace deal signed on February 29, 2020, in Doha, capital of Qatar. A significant reduction in violence and putting an end to war in Afghanistan through intra-Afghan talks are other components of the agreement.
Negotiations with the Taliban, however, remained bogged down for months and the militant group has increased the violence dramatically across the country.