Thu, Oct

NATO base in Helmand set to change hands


HelmandThe International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would transfer its biggest base in southern Helmand province to Afghan forces on October 26, an official said on Tuesday.

Governor Maj. General Mohammad Naeem, during a meeting with ISAF commander in Helmand Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, said only one NATO battalion would stay in the province after the handover of the Shorab base.
“There were 188 ISAF bases in Helmand but only one battalion is left which will be based in Dwair along with Afghan forces,” the governor explained. The remaining troops will support Afghan forces.
Gen. Yoo said Afghan forces were capable of conducting independent military operation and that was why they wanted to transfer the Shorab base. He added some foreign troops would remain in Helmand.
He said the Afghan president would decide on the transfer of the bases. But NATO troops would continue to consult Afghan forces in Kabul and Helmand.
ANA commander Maj. Gen. Syed Malook said they had been working for the last six months on the transfer of the two bases. Afghan forces were capable of looking after the camps, he claimed.
Set up in 2005, Shorab base houses American, British, Danish, Georgian and Estonian troops. There are two airports at Shorab base. With the pullout of foreign troops, one runway will be used for domestic flights.