Friday Jul 30, 2021
Turkey has announced that if its soldiers remain stationed in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the United States and NATO troops, they will not partake in the combat mission there and will only stay confined to taking care of the security of the Kabul Airport, Daily Sabah reported Friday citing security sources.
It should be recalled that back in June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had proposed a mission to protect and run Kabul's Hamid Karzai International airport following the withdrawal of other NATO troops.
Turkey maintains that it is essential to provide security to the Kabul airport because it connects Afghanistan to the world. Therefore, Turkish soldiers, if they remain stationed there, will only take care of the airport's security. Per the piece, Ankara has made it clear that Turkish soldiers will not have a combat mission in Afghanistan and "will not be a party to the conflict."
While the Turkish Foreign Ministry has called for a "fair burden-sharing of keeping the airport secure and safe, the Taliban have opposed the proposal, saying that Turkey should also withdraw troops in line with the 2020 deal for the pullout.