US Troop Reduction Plan on Track in Afghanistan

The U.S. military said Friday its withdrawal from Afghanistan is continuing and that it expects troop levels to drop to 8,600 by mid-July under terms of a peace-building deal with the Taliban.

The “conditions-based” military withdrawal began within days after the signing of the landmark agreement with the Islamist insurgency on February 29, when the number of total American troops in the country stood at around 13,000.

The agreement also calls for the withdrawal of all American personnel from Afghanistan, along with coalition partners, by July 2021.

“We are not providing updates on current troop levels primarily due to operational security concerns associated with the drawdown,” a U.S. military spokesman told VOA when asked for a reaction to media reports the number of service members had already fallen to fewer than 10,000.

“U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) continues to reduce force levels and expects to be at 8,600 U.
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S. troops within 135 days (mid-July) as stipulated by the U.S.-Taliban agreement,” the spokesman noted in the statement.

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