US troops ‘to leave Afghanistan by 11 September’

US troops 'to leave Afghanistan by 11 September'
The announcement means the US will miss a May deadline for a pull-out agreed with the Taliban last year. Source: BBC
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Daily US Times: US President Joe Biden is set to announce that US troops will leave Afghanistan by 11 September, White House officials have told US media.

The US would miss a May deadline for a pull-out the soldiers agreed with the Taliban by the Trump administration last year.

The new deadline would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in the US in 2001.

Presidents Biden had previously said the 1 May deadline would be tough to meet.

US and Nato officials have said the Taliban have so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence.

The Taliban, a hardline Islamist movement, have been warned that if they attack US troops during the pull-out phase, they “will be met with a forceful response”, said a senior administration official who was briefing reporters.

The official added that Mr Biden had decided a hasty withdrawal that would put US troops at risk was not a viable option,

At the same time, a review of United States choices determined that now was the time to close the book on the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan to focus on more acute threats.

Mr Biden is set to make the announcement himself on Wednesday.

The move comes hours after it was confirmed that the Afghan government and the Taliban would take part in a US-led peace conference in Turkey, starting later this month.

Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, and Lloyd Austin, US Defence Secretary, are expected to brief Nato allies on the decision in the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Wednesday.

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