10 US bases closed under deal with Taliban

Since February this year, 10 US military bases in Afghanistan have been closed, reports a leading American newspaper.

The US inked a landmark peace pact with the Taliban on February 29, providing for the pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

Closing the bases is part of the full withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan under the US-Taliban agreement.

Both Afghan and US official confirmed the closure of the military facilities, The Washington Post reported. The bases shut include several that were previously unreported.

Closing five of the facilities was needed under the US-Taliban pact Within 135 days of the signing, thousands of US troops were withdrawn from the country.

Shut so far are US bases in Tirinkot the capital of Uruzgan, Bost in Helmand, Gamberi in Laghman and Lightning in Paktia.

Other facilities closed this year are Jones in Kunduz, DeAlencar in Nangahar, Shaheen in Balkh, Bishop in Kabul, Maymana in Faryab and Qalat in Zabul.

β€œIt is also unclear how much equipment – more difficult to move than people – is left at each of the closed installations,” the newspaper said.

American and Afghan officials told the Post that plans for cutting troop numbers from 5,000 to 2,500 by mid-January were still shrouded in uncertainty.

One official said the US would keep the ability to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban in defense of Afghan forces.

American forces will also retain the capability to carry out counterterrorism strikes against the Islamic State (Daesh), the official added.

The number of bases still open in Afghanistan remains unknown. The total number of military sites has not been made public.

Even the once sprawling bases, like Kandahar Air Field and Jalalabad Air Base, currently only house a small number of US troops.