The Dutch soldiers who have been deployed in Afghanistan for the NATO mission Resolute Support will probably all be back home in July. Earlier it was expected that the retreat of NATO soldiers, which began on 1 May, would be completed in September.
The Dutch staff officers who worked at NATO headquarters in Kabul are now back in the Netherlands. The remaining military are located in Mazar-e-Sharif, in the north of the country. So they will return somewhere in the next two months. A team of specialists ensures that the material also comes to the Netherlands.
Faster through nearby airports
The ANP writes that the withdrawal of the military is faster than expected, because previous missions in Mali or Uruzgan were taken into account. At that time, long transport routes were needed to reach airports, but both Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif have an airport.
A new generation from Havelte among others was ready to be broadcast in August, reports RTV Drenthe. The military have been told that they are no longer deployed in this mission.
NATO is withdrawing all 10,000 soldiers from Afghanistan. Dutch soldiers have been in the country since 2002, mainly in the province of Uruzgan and later also in Kunduz.
At the end of April, some eighty extra soldiers were deployed by the defense, who help with the orderly phasing out of the mission. They are also there for the protection of the troops.
On May 1, the deadline for the withdrawal of all foreign military personnel in Afghanistan expired. That date was previously agreed by the US and the Taliban in an agreement. The Taliban sees the presence of foreign troops after this date as a violation of the agreement.
There have been no major attacks on military targets so far. “However, this does not guarantee that the redeployment of Western troops will be nonviolent,” the Ministry of Defence says.