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Two B-52H Stratofortress heavy bombers have been deployed to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the US Air Force said. The bombers are expected to be used against possible attacks against US troops during the withdrawal operation from Afghanistan.

General Austin Miller, who is in charge of the U.S. mission to Afghanistan, told a news conference in Kabul that “certain equipment” should be withdrawn from Afghanistan, “but wherever possible” the United States and international forces will leave behind matériel for the Afghan forces.

Afghanistan reportedly has about 300,000 personnel to counter the Taliban, but the possibility that the actual number may be lower is not ruled out. Western experts say that after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the government will not be able to withstand the Taliban for long without foreign support.

“I often get asked how are the security forces? Can the security forces do the work in our absence?” General Miller said. “And my message has always been the same: They must be ready.”

After the U.S. announced it would withdraw from Afghanistan by 9/11, it was a question of what would happen to the military equipment and platforms stationed in the region. The Afghan Defense Ministry says western countries will hand over most of the weapons and equipment they use to the Afghan army after withdrawing their troops from the area.

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