PESHAWAR, 25 October: Spain has ended its 14-year military mission in Afghanistan  but decided to leave  20 troops in Kabul. Spanish troops lowered their flag Friday at their base in Herat province in a ceremony  presided over by Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria. Defense Chief of Staff Adm. Fernando Garcia Sanchez and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Jaime Dominguez Buj  were also present on the occasion.

The 420 Spanish troops stationed in Herat, in the east of the country, are set to leave before October 31.

Once their withdrawal is complete, the only remaining Spanish presence in Afghanistan will be the 20 officials based at NATO general headquarters in Kabul, who are set to stay until the end of the year.

The Spanish contingent forms part of Operation Resolute Support, which replaced the old International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission, and provides assistance and advice to the Afghan authorities.

Over 100 Spanish troops were killed in fighting against Taliban and around 30,000 soldiers took part in Afghan war since January 2002.


–Compiled from media reports.


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