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Looters Ransack Bagram Air Base After US Troops Vacate

Looters Ransack Bagram Air Base After US Troops Vacate
An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier walks inside the Bagram US air base after all US and NATO troops left, some 70 Kms north of Kabul on July 5, 2021. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 05 July 2021 10:38 PM EDT

After U.S. troops left the Bagram Air Base Friday night after almost 20 years, it was looted by Afghan locals. 

According to The Daily Mail, the U.S. left the air base by shutting off the electricity and did not notify the base’s new Afghan commander, who, according to Afghan military officials, discovered that the U.S. troops left over two hours earlier. 

Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram's new commander said that “[W]e [heard] some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram... and finally by seven o'clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram.” 

However, The Daily Mail reported that, according to Afghan military officials, “[B]efore the Afghan army could take control, the airfield, barely an hour's drive from the Afghan capital Kabul, was invaded by a small army of looters, who ransacked barrack after barrack and rummaged through giant storage tents before being kicked out.”

The U.S. announced Friday that it had completely vacated Bagram, the biggest air base in Afghanistan, and will complete a final withdrawal from the country by the end of August. The last U.S. soldiers will likely remain until an agreement to protect the Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport is finished.

The U.S. left “a fleet of sport utility trucks and mine-resistant vehicles as well as a notorious prison and fortified walls,” The Daily Mail stated. 

The Afghan army showed off Bagram to reporters Monday, in what was the first public view of the base. A senior Afghan government official told Reuters that “[T]hey [Americans] are completely out now and everything is under our control, including watchtowers, air traffic and the hospital.” 

Kohistani said that the Afghan National Security and Defense Force could, despite the Taliban winning numerous battles throughout parts of the country lately, keep the heavily fortified Bagram. Kohistani also said that the Afghan military is changing its strategy and will retake the strategic districts that have fallen to the Taliban in the coming days.

The Daily Mail added that Kohistani said that while approximately 20 years of U.S. and NATO involvement in Afghanistan was appreciated, “[W]e [Afghans] have to solve our problem. We have to secure our country and once again build our country with our own hands.”

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After U.S. troops left the Bagram Air Base Friday night after almost 20 years, it was looted by Afghan locals, who took everything they could possibly get their hands on...
afghanistan, usarmy, bagramairbase
373
2021-38-05
Monday, 05 July 2021 10:38 PM
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