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Last Remaining Australian Troops Will Withdraw From Afghanistan By September

Stewart Perrie

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Last Remaining Australian Troops Will Withdraw From Afghanistan By September

Scott Morrison has revealed the final remaining Australian troops stationed in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by September.

The move comes following US President Joe Biden's decision to do the same by September 11, which will be the 20th anniversary of the Twin Towers terror attack.

The Australian Prime Minister told a press conference in Perth today (April 15) that the mission is now complete.

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

"Today the Government is announcing that Australia will conclude the drawdown of our contribution to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan," Mr Morrison said.

"Over the past two years we've been reducing our military presence in Afghanistan from a high of over 1,500 personnel to around 80 personnel currently.

"In line with the United States and other allies and partners, the last remaining Australian troops will depart Afghanistan in September 2021."

Scott Morrison choked back tears as he read out the 41 names of Australian military personnel who have died during our country's involvement in Afghanistan.

He noted how monumental everyone's sacrifice has been since we entered the conflict, with roughly 39,000 personnel serving over the two decades

"The sacrifice immense, the bravery and courage things we can speak of, but not know of personally. These brave Australians are amongst our greatest ever, who have served in the name of freedom," he said.

"Many more were wounded, some physically, others mentally and we'll be dealing with the scars, both mental and physical, of their service, for many, many years."

While Mr Morrison said Australia's role in the region is coming to a close, he said Afghanistan will also be able to call on our country if we are needed.

Credit: Australian Government Department of Defence
Credit: Australian Government Department of Defence

"We stand with them and the complex task of making peace that lies ahead for those people," he told reporters.

"Australia continues to support the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. We encourage both parties to commit to the peace process that so many Australians have died to provide for."

The first batch of Australian troops landed in Afghanistan in November 2001, just a few months after the September 11 terror attacks.

Four months later, Australia suffered its first casualty when Sergeant Andrew Russell died after his patrol vehicle struck a land mine.

Australia's official involvement in the conflict ended in 2014 when Operation Slipper came to an end, however limited military personnel have remained ever since to help local forces under Operation Highroad.

When asked by a reporter if Mr Morrison thought the two decades long war was worth it, he replied with: "Freedom is always worth it.

"Australians have always believed that. That is why Australians who have serviced in our defence forces have always pulled on that uniform."

Featured Image Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class John Collins

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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