US Military Withdrawal in Afghanistan Just 6-12 Percent Complete (Stefan Sauer/AP)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 11 May 2021 10:39 PM
The United States military's withdrawal from Afghanistan is roughly 6-12% complete, according to Central Command.
Officials are keeping the actual number close to their chest, one spokesperson from the Pentagon said Tuesday, The Hill reported.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the secrecy of the number is meant to protect troops from Taliban attack.
"[U.S. Central Command] has expressed a concern about the release of personnel figures specifically given that we have to assume, and we are still assuming, that this drawdown could be opposed by the Taliban," Kirby said in a press conference.
Since May 1, U.S. military officials have flown around 104 C-17 loads of equipment out of the country and "have turned over more than 1,800 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for destruction."
Also, the U.S. has officially handed over one facility to the Afghan National Army,' Centcom said in a statement Tuesday.
The withdrawal occurred after President Joe Biden stated he would have a complete withdrawal by Sept. 11, 2021.
Due to operational security concerns, Centcom has not released the exact number of troops leaving the country nor how the military will exit Afghanistan.
"We have an obligation to keep our people safe, particularly in a retrograde that could be opposed," Kirby said. "We need to be careful about the kind of information that's in the public space."
As of January, roughly 3,500 troops were in Afghanistan. It has been reported Army Rangers were deployed there last week to help with the withdrawal.
Kirby said Centcom would be "providing a possible greater clarity on what the percentage indicates."
However, the Pentagon has "a top priority of protecting our people and those of our allies and partners."