Troop withdrawals

U.S. soldiers stand guard during the hand over ceremony of Qayyarah Airfield, Iraqi Security Forces, in the south of Mosul, Iraq early Friday, March 27, 2020. Iraq's military on Thursday said at least two rockets hit inside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq's government and home to the American Embassy, in the first attack following a brief lull in violence from earlier this month. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)
March 29, 2020 - 11:44 am
BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq withdrew Sunday from a military base in the country's north that nearly launched Washington into an open war with neighboring Iran. The K1 Air Base is the third site coalition forces have left this month, in line with U.S. plans to consolidate its...
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French President Emmanuel Macron wears a face mask during his visit at the military field hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron launched a special military operation Wednesday to help fight the new virus in one of the world's hardest-hit countries. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Mathieu Cugnot/Pool via AP)
March 25, 2020 - 5:31 pm
PARIS (AP) — France is pulling out its military forces from Iraq as French forces are increasingly called upon to help fight the coronavirus at home. The chief of staff of the French armed forces said in a statement Wednesday night that France is suspending its anti-terrorism training operations in...
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center left, meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, center right, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, March 23, 2020. Pompeo was in Kabul on an urgent visit Monday to try to move forward a U.S. peace deal signed last month with the Taliban, a trip that comes despite the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when world leaders and statesmen are curtailing official travel. (Afghan Presidential Palace via AP)
March 24, 2020 - 6:01 am
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Washington's unprecedented threat to cut $1 billion in Afghanistan funding — a response to the refusal of rivals in Kabul to work together to advance peace — comes at a time when the impoverished nation risks being overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday both...
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In this Monday, March 9, 2020, photo, Afghanistan's Abdullah Abdullah, front left, greets his supporters after being sworn in as president in Kabul, Afghanistan. Washington moved forward Tuesday on its peace deal with the Taliban, launching its troop withdrawal, while praising Afghanistan's newly installed President Ashraf Ghani's promise to proceed with a Taliban prisoner release as well as cobble together a team to start negotiations with the insurgent group. But the dueling presidential inaugurations a day earlier with Ghani's rival, Abdullah Abdullah also being sworn in as president is indicative of the uphill task facing Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad as he tries to get Afghanistan's bickering leadership to come together. (AP Photo)
March 10, 2020 - 8:53 am
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United States began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Tuesday, taking a step forward on its peace deal with the Taliban while also praising Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's promise to start releasing Taliban prisoners after he had delayed for...
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Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad attends the inauguration ceremony for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
March 09, 2020 - 12:09 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — American troops have begun leaving Afghanistan for the initial troop withdrawal required in the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement, a U.S. official said on Monday, amid political chaos in Kabul that threatens the deal. Hundreds of troops are heading out of the country as previously...
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An injured man is carried into an ambulance after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, March 6, 2020. Gunmen in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul attacked a remembrance ceremony for a minority Shiite leader on Friday, wounding more than a dozen of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
March 06, 2020 - 12:23 pm
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen opened fire Friday at a ceremony in Afghanistan's capital attended by prominent political leaders, killing at least 32 people and wounding dozens more before the two attackers were slain by police, officials said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for...
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper testifies to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the budget, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. An uptick in Taliban attacks against Afghan forces that prompted a retaliatory U.S. airstrike has underscored the fragility of the peace deal between the Trump administration and the group. Esper told the Senate hearing that the Taliban are honoring the agreement by not attacking U.S. and coalition forces, “but not in terms of sustaining the reduction in violence.” (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
March 05, 2020 - 12:47 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump said he had a “very good talk” with a top Taliban leader and insisted the group wants to cease violence, a U.S. military drone on Wednesday targeted the militant group — retaliation for an uptick in Taliban attacks against Afghan...
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President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he leaves the White House, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Washington, to visit the National Institutes of Health's Vaccine Research Center in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
March 03, 2020 - 2:41 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he talked with a Taliban leader, days after the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement that calls for the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after more than 18 years and provides assurances that the country will not...
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
March 02, 2020 - 12:37 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he has given the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan the go-ahead to begin the initial withdrawal of U.S. troops. Speaking at a Pentagon news conference Monday, Esper said he was not sure whether the drawdown had begun, but said it is required to...
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March, 1, 2020. Ghani said Sunday he won't be releasing the 5,000 prisoners the Taliban say must be freed before intra-Afghan negotiations can begin. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
March 02, 2020 - 5:28 am
BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday pledged its support for the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement in Afghanistan and called for the “orderly and responsible" withdrawal of foreign troops to avoid a power vacuum and possible terrorist resurgence. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the reconciliation...
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