Gen. Zia Confirms Formal Start of Foreign Troops Withdrawal


KABUL: Afghan acting defense minister, Gen. Yasin Zia has said that US and NATO forces have practically begun their withdrawal following the US president’s May 1 schedule for start of full exit from Afghanistan.
Speaking to a press conference in Kabul on Saturday, Zia said, “The withdrawal of foreign troops has practically begun.” “They will hand over the areas (to Afghan forces) where their logistical issues have been managed until the end of this week.”
He said that international forces would vacate their bases in other parts of the country and gather in Bagram Airfield from where they will have final departure. 
The final contingent of international forces will depart Camp Shorabak in, Lashkargah, capital of Helmand province on Sunday, he said. 
National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib who was also present at the conference, said that their estimates show the Taliban will continue their attacks and “every Afghan will be their target.” 
There are currently between 2,500 and 3,500 US troops in Afghanistan in addition to 7,000 coalition troops and thousands of contractors, who all will depart together.