The last Australian troops have left the country’s main military base in Uruzgan Province, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced today.
In a joint press conference with Defence Minister David Johnston, Abbott acknowledged the high price paid by Australia during the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan, in which 40 service members were killed, and another 261 injured.
Around 400 defence personnel will remain in Afghanistan, based primarily in Kabul and Kandahar, in training and support roles. Johnston said 18 special forces members would train Afghan police.
“None are expected to be involved in combat, although sometimes in support roles you do get caught up,” Abbott said during the press conference.
Abbott was also asked about the resettlement of Afghan interpreters who assisted Australian troops. Media reports have raised safety concerns, with some already facing retribution.
“We are intending to ensure anyone who provided material support for our armed forces are looked after and provided with a guarantee of safety,” Abbott said.
“The operating principal of the Australian army is no one is left behind.
“We are getting them out as quickly as we can.”
It was also announced that Australia would provide $100 million a year in funding to help Afghanistan’s defence force.
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