UK troops will be out of Afghanistan at the end of next month, the sources say, with an SAS unit to safeguard the withdrawal. The remaining 550 UK troops, now based in Kabul, have been notified to leave the crisis-ravaged country after nearly 20 years of service alongside coalition forces. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, the main force protection unit in the city, have already begun to reduce their military footprint. And last week, UK Army mentors at the Afghan Army Officers' Training School on the outskirts of Kabul packed up and moved to a detention base within the city. More than 60 SAS soldiers have flown to Kabul, where they will work closely with colleagues attached to US Special Operations to provide covert security and monitor and neutralize potential threats from the Taliban, al Qaeda, or state insurgents. Islamic. The unit has been deployed with a team of dogs, medics and a bomb disposal unit, sources say.
British troops officially ended their combat mission in 2014. Since then, a much smaller force has been training and advising Afghan forces while providing protection to NATO advisers as part of Operation Toral. Last night, a senior Army source said: “All withdrawals provide a particularly dangerous window, and Kabul is certainly no exception. “Right now, Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are fighting for power and there is a fear that it will intensify when we leave. "The arrival of additional forces is for one reason: there will be resources throughout the city and beyond to provide eye and ear surveillance to prevent an attack." He confirmed that all UK forces would be out of Afghanistan on July 31, coinciding with the US withdrawal date. British forces first arrived in Kabul in 2001 as part of US President George W. Bush's post-9/11 response to deny that Afghanistan has become an al Qaeda training ground. In 2006 they moved to Helmand province to begin combat operations under Operation Herrick. In all, 454 British soldiers died in Afghanistan and thousands were left with life-changing physical or mental injuries. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: "As we withdraw, the safety of our people currently serving in Afghanistan remains our priority and we have made it clear that attacks against allied troops will have a strong response." Experts have criticized the decision, pointing to the rise in Taliban forces since the coalition's combat operations ended in 2014.
In the past two years, the Taliban have rebuilt their forces and are now encircling Afghan forces in both Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. Last night Colonel Richard Kemp, commander of the UK forces in Afghanistan in 2003, said: “Donald Trump's withdrawal plan was conditioned on the actions of the Taliban. He recognized the real danger of a civil war between the Taliban and the civilian government. Biden's plan, however, is completely unconditional. " He said the UK was not able to stay in Afghanistan without US support, adding: “We have spent many years training the Afghan forces, but the only thing keeping them in check is the Western presence. "They have suffered terrible casualties in recent years and the awareness that there is no longer a military guarantor if things go bad will play an important role, as will the lack of air support." So while we managed to rid Afghanistan of the jihadist extremists until 2015, and by containing them since then, they will be nothing to prevent Afghanistan from becoming what it was on September 11, 2001 again. "They know that Western governments don't want to go back." As the Mod spokesperson put it: "UK Operation TORAL is part of the Resolute Support Mission, which will be designed in line with our NATO allies and partners."