The United States has completed more than half of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, including the departure of American soldiers, according to the United States Central Command on Tuesday.
The Department of Defense has withdrawn about 896 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan, including nearly 15,943 pieces of equipment identified for disposition, as of Monday morning, CENTCOM said in the Tuesday press release.
The United States has also turned over six facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
“U.S. Central Command estimates that we have completed more than 50% of the entire retrograde process,” CENTCOM said, noting that it expects to hand over additional bases and military equipment in the near future.
The Pentagon reported in early June that the drawdown was 30 percent complete, indicating that progress had been made.
The Biden administration initially said in April of this year that the pullout will be completed by September 11, 2021.
The evacuation appears to have accelerated recently, with soldiers scheduled to leave altogether by the end of July.
In the midst of the departure strategy, Biden hosted Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at the White House last week.
“During these years, the United States has not spared any effort, either in blood or in wealth. As a thankful country, I’d want to express my gratitude and ask that you please thank the gold star families “Ghani said.
The United States first invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, leading to two decades of U.S. occupation.
Over 2,500 Americans have died in that period, and 1 million have served in the country during the United States’ longest overseas occupation.
As a temporary solution, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was dispatched to the region last week to relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Meanwhile, in adjacent Syria, US soldiers were recently targeted with missiles at the al-Omar oil field.
According to authorities, the strikes were carried out by Iraq-based insurgents.
In reaction, the US launched airstrikes against Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.