Sydney: The Australian Defence Minister confirmed on Sunday that the country has ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan, stating that the withdrawal took place in “recent weeks”.
Australia announced in April that it would withdraw its remaining troops before September to coincide with the US decision to end military operations in this war-torn country.
Defense Minister Peter Dutton told Sky News that the country’s last 80 support personnel had left Afghanistan in “recent weeks”.
“That doesn’t mean we won’t be a part of campaigns with the United States… where we deem that to be in our national interest or in the interest of our allies,” he added.
“For now, though, that campaign has come to an end.”
Australia has deployed 39,000 soldiers in the past 20 years as part of a US and NATO-led operation against the Taliban and terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, which cost billions of dollars and resulted in the deaths of 41 Australian soldiers.
Although the country has not had a large number of troops stationed in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of combatants at the end of 2013, the war has caused losses and caused controversy in the country.
Veterans groups have pressured the government into launching a formal inquiry into the high number of suicides among Afghan veterans and other ex-servicemen and women.
The military and police are also actively investigating allegations that elite Special Air Services soldiers committed numerous war crimes in Afghanistan.