By G9ija

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is more than 95 percent complete, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Tuesday.

“US Central Command estimates that we have completed more than 95% of the entire withdrawal process”, CENTCOM said in a release.

President Joe Biden has said that he expects the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan to be completed by 31 August. However, the official deadline was set for 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States that sparked the war.

A member of Afghan Special Forces sits on the rooftop of his humvee as he arrives at the base after heavy clashes with Taliban during the rescue mission of a policeman besieged at a check post, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The Defence Department recently transferred leadership of the US troops in Afghanistan to CENTCOM Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie. Defence officials have said McKenzie will retain the same authorities as his predecessor, including the ability to direct airstrikes against the Taliban* or against other threats.

The Taliban* movement has been gaining ground in Afghanistan and now controls 85 percent of the country. Pierre Henrot, security consultant and former UN observer, told Sputnik last week that the Afghan government is unlikely to be able to retain control the country after the US departure.