Afghan refugees flood into Turkey as USA announces final troop withdrawal | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

27 September, Monday

Afghan refugees flood into Turkey as USA announces final troop withdrawal

Afghan refugees enter Turkey as USA withdrawal comes into effect

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American president Joe Biden announced in a June 8th speech at the White House, that American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31, after 20 years of occupation in the region. US troops first entered Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks on New York's World Trade Center, when the Taliban was suspected of hiding Osama bin Laden and supporting al-Qaeda.
 
During his speech, President Biden asserted that the US has achieved its foremost goals and has “degraded” the terrorist threats in Afghanistan. He also said it was time for the Afghan nation to build itself, without foreign help. But since the announcement there have been renewed inter-clashes between Afghan forces, the Taliban fighters have made swift territorial gains, and a growing number of Afghans have left their homes, indicating Biden's expectations for Afghanistan may be far-fetched.
 
Turkey has seen a spike in the number of incoming Afghan refugees, with more than 125,000 Afghans seeking asylum in Turkey in 2020 alone, according to the UNHCR 2020 report. Afghan refugees make up the second-largest refugee population in Turkey after Syrians.
 
Illegal border crossings
According to Halk TV, a news media platform in Turkey, police detained 85 undocumented refugees in Niğde province on July 19. Of the 85,  73 were from Afghanistan, and 12 were Pakistani nationals. Another 59 Afghan nationals were detained in Turkey's Van province. According to Turkish officials, police have detained a total of 1,500 mostly Afghan migrants since early July. Some say if conditions in Afghanistan do not improve, the numbers could get much higher, reaching 1,000–1,200 refugees each day. “Should the Taliban expand its advances in the country this number can reach more than 2,000 on daily basis in August and September,” said one Afghan scholar, who spoke to Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity for security reasons.
 

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