Berlin/Rome/Washington DC, Jun 30 (EFE).- Foreign troops deployed in Afghanistan are completing their withdrawal after a nearly 20-year mission, with the German and Italian forces already out of the restive country.
“A historic chapter comes to an end,” German defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement as she confirmed that the second-largest international contingent in Afghanistan had been completely pulled out.
“An intense mission that has demanded and influenced the German army and in which it has demonstrated its capacity for combat,” the statement read.
Since 2001, a total of 160,000 German soldiers had taken part in the mission, 1,100 of whom were deployed in Afghanistan over the past months among 9,600 NATO soldiers. Fifty-nine German soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.
The announcement of US President Joe Biden the withdrawal of his troops from Afghanistan before 11 September speeded up the German exit, which began in May.
Italy’s mission also came to a close.
“The Italian mission in Afghanistan officially ended last night,” the Italian defense ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
“With the return of the last man of the Italian contingent, an impressive logistical and operational effort carried out with punctuality and safety by our Armed Forces ended in complete safety,” it read.
Italian defense minister Lorenzo Guerini remembered “with gratitude the 723 injured and with deep emotion the 53 Italian victims who lost their lives in service” among 50,000 troops who participated in the mission.
The full withdraw of US troops, the largest foreign deployment in Afghanistan, is imminent, local media reported on Wednesday.