US to open command centre in Qatar to support Afghan forces

US to open command centre in Qatar to support Afghan forces
The Pentagon announced that it will establish a management office in Qatar to help the Afghan military and police and continue small-scale operations in Kabul.
2 min read
05 July, 2021
Afghan military and security forces have faced losses amid a fresh Taliban insurgency [LA Times/Getty Images]

The US will establish an American command centre in Qatar to support Afghan security forces after its troops completely withdraw from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, according to the Pentagon.

The Defence Security Cooperation Management office "will administer funding support for the Afghan national defence and security forces to include over the horizon aircraft maintenance support", said department of defence spokesman John Kirby who made the revelations during a press conference on Friday.

He added the aim of this office will be to ward off any threats coming from Afghanistan, in reference to the Taliban.

Initially, the US said it would withdraw by 11 September. Kirby confirmed however that this would happen by the end of August.

Qatar has not yet commented on the matter.

The Gulf state has hosted negotiations between the US and Taliban for years.

Washington began its pull-out in May after a 20-year presence in war-torn Afghanistan. This has allowed Taliban insurgents to make huge territorial gains across the country.

Afghan military and security forces have been surrendering and abandoning several provinces amid a fresh Taliban insurgency.

About 650 American military personnel will remain in the Afghan capital Kabul after August to help protect the international airport as well as the US embassy.

Fears have grown that the Taliban will seek to target western interests after the US and NATO leave the country, and the insurgents have previously warned that the presence of any foreign troops will be considered an occupation.