Press Esc to close
Monday 21 August 2017
News updated at 3:10 AM IST

France ends combat mission in Afghanistan

Nijrab Base(Afghanistan), Nov 20, 2012 (AFP) 14:38 IST
France ended its last combat mission in Afghanistan today, withdrawing troops from a strategic province northeast of Kabul as part of an accelerated departure from the war-torn country.

Paris has said all French combat soldiers will leave next month, two years before allied nations contributing to the 100,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the United States are due to depart.

Around 1,500 French soldiers will stay into 2013 to take responsibility for repatriating equipment and training the Afghan army to take over when all NATO combat troops leave in 2014.

France joined the NATO coalition in late 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the United States to topple the Taliban which had given refuge to Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network.

But despite 11 years of fighting, a resilient Taliban insurgency has led to warnings of a return to civil war or the Taliban returning to power in Afghanistan after 2014.

An AFP correspondent saw the last 400 soldiers deployed in Kapisa province start to leave Nijrab, the last French base outside Kabul, at 10:00 am after a departure ceremony.

France has lost 88 soldiers in Afghanistan and has been the fifth largest contributor to ISAF, behind the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy.

Kapisa, which straddles key transit routes from Pakistan to the Afghan capital, has been the deadliest French mission in Afghanistan, accounting for 60 of total French fatalities.
Troops moved into the province in 2008 and clashes with the Taliban and militia quickly increased.

French and Afghan commanders say Kapisa has stabilised, but have been unable to provide supporting statistics and attacks have continued.

"I have not seen terrain recaptured by the insurgency in this zone," said General Olivier de Bavinchove, the French commander in Afghanistan.

Two out of six Kapisa districts are thought to be at least partly controlled by insurgents.
Kapisa security will now be the responsibility of 4,700 Afghan police and soldiers, supported by 250 American soldiers, according to General Eric Hautecloque-Raysz, the French commander in Kapisa and nearby district Surobi.

He says he is optimistic about the capacity of Afghan troops. "The insurgency is 10 times less than the (Afghan) security forces. Therefore, they cannot be beaten," he said.
Paris decided to accelerate its withdrawal after a string of deadly attacks in 2011 and 2012.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A butterfly on a flower at a park in Guwahati on...

A butterfly on a flower at a park in Guwahati on...

An artist giving finishing touches to the idols of Lord Ganesha during the upcoming...

An artist giving finishing touches to the idols of Lord Ganesha during the upcoming...

Villagers fishing in the flood-hit Balimukh village in Morigaon district of Assam...

Villagers fishing in the flood-hit Balimukh village in Morigaon district of Assam...

Women take part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest 'Disco Dance' to...

Women take part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest 'Disco Dance' to...

A villager carrying household items submerged in flood waters, at the flood-hit Balimukh...

A villager carrying household items submerged in flood waters, at the flood-hit Balimukh...

Legend cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with his fans during the 2nd edition of Mumbai Half Marathon...

Legend cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with his fans during the 2nd edition of Mumbai Half Marathon...

Fruit vendors row a boat as they look for customers inside the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer...

Fruit vendors row a boat as they look for customers inside the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer...

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh walking the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2017...

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh walking the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2017...

A flower composition is seen during the 48th Debrecen Flower Festival in Debrecen, 226 kms east...

A flower composition is seen during the 48th Debrecen Flower Festival in Debrecen, 226 kms east...

Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamwal showcases a creation by designer Kazingmei during Lakme Fashion...

Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamwal showcases a creation by designer Kazingmei during Lakme Fashion...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.