The United States forces in Afghanistan on Sunday, ceded a key operating base to Afhan National Army in restive Southern Helmand province, reported local media. Tolo news reported, "Camp Antonik in Helmand province was officially handed over to the Afghan army's 215 Maiwind Corps on Sunday." The report further clarified that with no change in its name, the said camp will be used as a base for Afghan Special Operations Forces. Helmand province, notoriously known for poppy growing is renowned for stronghold of Taliban insurgents. Violence however, lingers in the war-torn state as NATO and US troops exit.
Constant stir in figures of violent episodes in Afghanistan had led US President Joe Biden’s administration to launch a review of a deal signed between Washington and the Taliban last year that paved way for the withdrawal of all American troops.
The official date set for conclusion of the final withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan is before September 11. The day marks 20th anniversary of gruesome 9/11 terrorist attacks which drew the US into state of war with Afghanistan. The Taliban, who had demanded that all US troops be pulled out of Afghanistan by May 1, did not offer any guarantee for the safety of the departing troops. Between 2,500 to 3,500 deployed personnel of US forces have to mark their exit from Afghanistan.
Two days before the incident, the Governments of the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan during the Extended “Troika” held to negotiate and comprehend peaceful settlement in Afghanistan released their joint statements in relevance to rendezvous with representatives of the Islamic Republic negotiating team and of the Taliban. They called on the Afghan Taliban to “fulfil its counterterrorism commitments” and to ensure that no terrorist organisations use the Afghan soil to harm any other country.
The Troika also called on all the parties in the war-torn country to reduce violence and urged the Taliban to not pursue a spring offensive. It reaffirmed that “any peace agreement must include protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women, men, children, victims of war, and minorities, and should respond to the strong desire of all Afghans for economic, social and political development including the rule of law".