x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Britain to withdraw 3,800 troops from Afghanistan

Prime minister David Cameron announced today that some 3,800 British troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2013.

LONDON // Prime minister David Cameron announced today that some 3,800 British troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2013.

Some 5,000 will remain into 2014, Cameron told lawmakers.

The announcement comes after a lengthy video call yesterday between Cameron and US president Barack Obama.

There are some 60,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

Cameron said the decision reflects an increasing confidence in the Afghan National Security Forces.

"Our combat mission is drawing to a close, but our commitment to the Afghan people is long-term," said defence secretary Philip Hammond.

Since 2001, 433 British troops have died in Afghanistan.

Last month, France ended its combat operations in Afghanistan, pulling hundreds of troops from a base in a volatile region northeast of Kabul and fulfilling promises to end its combat role on a faster track than other Nato allies.

France has lost 88 troops in Afghanistan since late 2001.