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UK To Bring Home Last Remaining Soldiers In Afghanistan This Weekend

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UK To Bring Home Last Remaining Soldiers In Afghanistan This Weekend

The UK is expected to bring home the last of its troops in Afghanistan this weekend, which would bring an end to Britain's official role in the 20-year conflict.

According to reports, the final 750 soldiers, who are currently part of a NATO training mission, are due to leave today (Sunday 4 July).

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Speaking to The Guardian, defence sources said that the training mission is to be completed 'in the next few days', before formal announcements are made.

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Despite not wanting to give away exact dates, two military sources indicated to the publication that British forces were due out by 4 July, with the RAF rescheduling flights to complete the evacuation process.

The UK's exit from the country has been organised to match the departure of US forces, which have been slogging to complete their withdrawal on 4 July - Independence Day weekend.

This comes after US President Joe Biden said back in April that it was 'time to end America's longest war'. Around 650 of the country's troops are expected to stay to protect the US embassy.

A soldier returning home in 2010. Credit: PA
A soldier returning home in 2010. Credit: PA
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Last month Germany and Italy declared their missions in Afghanistan over, bringing their deployments to a low-key end.

Announcements from several countries show that a majority of European troops have now left with little ceremony, bringing the Western mission in Afghanistan close to an end as the United States' own withdrawal looms.

Germany publicly announced the end of its nearly 20-year deployment in a statement and a series of tweets from the defence minister, shortly after the last plane carrying its troops had left Afghan airspace.

Three transport aircraft landed at the Wunstorf air base in northern Germany on Wednesday afternoon.

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The troops, wearing masks, lined up on the tarmac for a brief ceremony, but the military dispensed with a bigger reception because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The last Italian troops withdrawing from Afghanistan walk through the airport. Credit: PA
The last Italian troops withdrawing from Afghanistan walk through the airport. Credit: PA

Brig Gen Ansgar Meyer, the last commander of the German contingent said: "We have worked long and hard to stand here today. As your commander, I can say for you: 'Mission accomplished'.

"You have fulfilled your task. The orderly return of the German contingent in the Resolute Support has been concluded successfully."

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Italy officially declared its mission in Afghanistan over in a statement with Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini paying tribute to the 53 Italians who died, and 723 who were injured over the past two decades.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, UK

Rebecca Shepherd
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