Press Esc to close
Monday 28 July 2014
News updated at 11:43 AM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

France ends combat mission in Afghanistan

Nijrab Base(Afghanistan), Nov 20, 2012 (AFP)

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
Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez sits in his car after a crash during the Hungarian F1...

Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez sits in his car after a crash during the Hungarian F1...

Cars burnt in clashes between two communities a day before is being removed by crane...

Cars burnt in clashes between two communities a day before is being removed by crane...

Renovation work being carried out by the NDMC at the Lodhi Garden in New Delhi...

Renovation work being carried out by the NDMC at the Lodhi Garden in New Delhi...

A man holds an umbrella as he rides a bicycle through a street during monsoon rains in Mumba....

A man holds an umbrella as he rides a bicycle through a street during monsoon rains in Mumba....

Flooded street duirng the continue rain in Mumbai...

Flooded street duirng the continue rain in Mumbai...

A boy sits on his handmade raft as he collects floating recyclable material in the waters...

A boy sits on his handmade raft as he collects floating recyclable material in the waters...

Muslims shout slogans during a demonstration to protest against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza strip...

Muslims shout slogans during a demonstration to protest against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza strip...

Muslims throng a marketplace near the Jama Mosque illuminated during the holy month of Ramadan...

Muslims throng a marketplace near the Jama Mosque illuminated during the holy month of Ramadan...

Shoppers crowd at a market ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival in Ahmedabad. The Eid al-Fitr...

Shoppers crowd at a market ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival in Ahmedabad. The Eid al-Fitr...

Muslims prepare plates of food for an Iftar (breaking of fast) meal, inside a mosque during the...

Muslims prepare plates of food for an Iftar (breaking of fast) meal, inside a mosque during the...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523