Looters Burglarize Bagram Air Base After US Troops Vacate

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An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier walks inside the Bagram US air base after all US and NATO troops left, some 70 Kms north of Kabul on July 5, 2021. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Afghans looted the Bagram Air Base on Friday night, just 20 years after U.S. troops had left it.

The Daily Mail reports that the U.S. shut off electricity at the airbase and didn’t notify the new Afghan commander. He, according to Afghan military officials discovered that the U.S. troops had left two hours earlier.

Bagram’s new commander, Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani stated that they heard rumors that the Americans had left Bagram… but finally, at seven o’clock in the morning, it was confirmed that they had indeed left Bagram.

The Daily Mail reported however that a small army of looters invaded the Afghan airfield just an hour from Kabul. They ransacked every barrack and searched through huge storage tents before they were kicked out.

Friday’s announcement by the U.S. that Bagram, Afghanistan’s largest air base, had been evacuated was a clear indication of its intention to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of August. The last U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan until an agreement is reached to secure Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The U.S. left “a fleet of sport utility trucks and mine-resistant vehicles as well as a notorious prison and fortified walls,” The Daily Mail stated.

Monday’s public display of Bagram by the Afghan army was the first time that the base had been seen publicly. A top official in the Afghan government told Reuters that “[T]hey (Americans]] are completely out right now and everything is under [our] control including watchtowers and air traffic, and the hospital.”

Kohistani stated that the Afghan National Security and Defense Force could keep the heavily fortified Bagram, despite the Taliban having won numerous battles in different parts of the country recently. Kohistani stated that the Afghan military was changing its strategy and would retake strategic districts that were lost to the Taliban within the next few days.

The Daily Mail added that Kohistani said that while approximately 20 years of U.S. and NATO involvement in Afghanistan was appreciated, “[W]e [Afghans] have to solve our problem. We have to secure our country and once again build our country with our own hands.”