Spanish troops begin withdrawal from Badghis
KABUL – Spanish troops have started withdrawing from Qala-i-Naw, the capital of northwestern Badghis province, to their main base in western Herat near the Iranian border, moving equipment and vehicles, the country’s defence ministry said on Friday.
“Bringing forward the date originally planned, the Spanish contingent in Afghanistan, Aspfor XXXII, has begun moving materiel to the base maintained by Spain in Herat, in order to be repatriated,” the Defense General Staff said.
Following the recent closure of combat bases in Ludina and Moqur districts, a total of 45 members of the military, between officers and troops, are ready to return home on Tuesday.
Personnel from other units, who have already been deactivated, are also in Herat waiting to take a flight back to Spain.
With the withdrawal from Qala-i-Naw, originally planned for next fall, Spain will be gone from Badghis and its presence in Afghanistan will be limited to Herat, from where the final pullout will take place, scheduled for 2014.
Spain’s military has been part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for more than a decade and currently has some 1,400 personnel serving with the NATO-led force.
A total of 100 Spanish military personnel – some of Latin American origin – have been killed since the mission in Afghanistan started, most of them in air accidents.(PAN)