Britain ‘to keep special forces in Afghanistan after withdrawal deadline’ as Taliban issues warning

The Taliban said that any foreign soldiers in the country after the 11 September deadline will be at risk as occupiers.

A small number of troops from the British Special Forces are reportedly set to remain in the country after the 11 September deadline (Photo by Scott Nelson/Getty Images)

The Taliban has warned that any foreign soldiers left in Afghanistan after Nato’s withdrawal deadline in September will be at risk as occupiers, the BBC reports.

It comes as a small number of troops from the British Special Forces are reportedly set to remain in the country after the 11 September deadline.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below

At a glance: 5 key points

- The Telegraph reports that a small number of British troops will remain in the country after September as an “advisory group” focused on providing “training to Afghan units”.

- There are also reports that 1,000 mainly US troops would remain on the ground to protect Kabul’s international airport and diplomatic missions.

- Violence in the country continues to escalate with the Taliban taking more territory and concerns continuing to grow for the future of the capital Kabul.

- However, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the BBC that seizing Kabul was "not Taliban policy".

- He also said no foreign troops should remain in the country after the September deadline but NGOs, diplomats and other foreign civilians would not be targeted by the group.

What’s been said

"If they leave behind their forces against the Doha agreement then in that case it will be the decision of our leadership how we proceed.

"We would react and the final decision is with our leadership.

"We are against the foreign military forces, not diplomats, NGOs and workers and NGOs functioning and embassies functioning - that is something our people need. We will not pose any threat to them”

Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesman speaking to the BBC

Background

The US and its Nato allies agreed a deal with the Taliban to withdraw all troops from the country in return for the militant group not to allow any extremists, including al-Qaeda, to operate in areas that they control.

A deadline of 11 September - the 20 year anniversary of the attacks on the US - was set by President Joe Biden for US troops to fully withdraw.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.