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Afghanistan: Taliban is heading towards the Bundeswehr camp – but they are missing important weapons

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The advance of the radical Islamic Taliban in Afghanistan is also preoccupying the Bundeswehr stationed there. One follows “presence and development very closely,” said a spokesman for the operational command on Tuesday. The Bundeswehr camp has not yet been affected.

An attack on the German camp in Mazar-i-Sharif, in which almost 1,000 soldiers are still stationed, would be particularly inappropriate at the present time. It should actually be cleared by June 30, parts of the equipment, including important, high-tech weapons such as a drone, have already been packed and shipped. 

This is reported by the “Spiegel“. In view of this, the communication of the responsible command is almost “exaggeratedly relaxed”.

“We are prepared for anything,” said the spokesman for the operational command on Tuesday. 

At the same time he emphasized:

Nothing has changed in the timetable for the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan.

According to the “Spiegel” report, there is concern that the US would not send fighter jets to support in the event of an actual attack, as it did last time. The US government headed by President Biden is currently preparing to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

Report: Taliban spokesman announces no attack on international troops

As the “Spiegel” reports further, a Taliban spokesman announced that they were trying not to kill international troops because they saw that “they have started to withdraw”. 

That’s why they don’t plan an attack. Hopes that the Taliban would abide by this is reinforced by the fact that the terrorist group has not killed any international soldiers in months. 

The camp in Mazar-i-Sharif is the last remaining camp of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. At the end of April, it handed over a second, previously used area to the Afghan armed forces, which the Taliban are currently cracking down on with great severity.

The terrorist group recently captured the most important border post with Tajikistan. They are currently advancing into northern Afghanistan, where the Bundeswehr was also responsible for stabilization for a long time. 

Taliban fighters surrounded the strategically important city of Kunduz on Monday. 

According to a member of the Kunduz provincial council, the insurgents blocked important routes to the neighboring provinces. On Tuesday they brought under their control the most important border post to Tajikistan in the far north of Kunduz province.

Taliban advance: Afghan soldiers had to give up all posts

The Islamists had taken all border posts, the port and the city of Syr Chan Bandar, Kunduz province council deputy told AFP news agency.

According to one officer, the Afghan soldiers had to give up all their posts and “some of our soldiers crossed the border into Tajikistan.”

It is the Taliban’s most significant conquest since they intensified their fighting in parallel with the beginning of the US withdrawal in early May. West of Kunduz lies the German camp Masar-i-Sharif.

Earlier, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby had raised the issue of a delayed withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence is constantly keeping an eye on the situation on the ground and is prepared to react flexibly to it.

There is currently too much violence. The U.S., therefore, retained “flexibility” should changes to the pace or scope of the withdrawal be necessary, Kirby said.

According to the plans of Trump’s successor Joe Biden, the withdrawal of US troops is to be completed by September 11 at the latest. The remaining NATO troops are also said to have left Afghanistan by this date. According to pentagon data, the US withdrawal is currently about half complete.

Bundeswehr has begun withdrawing its last 1,100 soldiers from Afghanistan

The US Army has already handed over several bases to the Afghan Army and flown out hundreds of aircraft loads of material. The US troops are still able to support the local security forces, said Kirby. However, this changes the further the withdrawal progresses.

In order to maintain a certain Western presence in Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of international troops, NATO wants to financially support the operation of Kabul International Airport, among other things.

Turkey has already promised to secure the airport. For further talks on this, a US delegation will travel to Turkey on Thursday.

US President Biden will receive Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Kabul government negotiator in the intra-Afghan peace process, Abdullah Abdullah, at the White House on Friday.

Photo by Nihad Nino Pusija / ullstein bild via Getty Images

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