Flag Lowered as Last Croatian Troops Leave Afghanistan

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© Croatian army
The flag is lowered as the last Croatian troops leave Afghanistan
The flag is lowered as the last Croatian troops leave Afghanistan

September 13, 2020 – Around 70 soldiers are finally on their way back home to their families as the last Croatian troops leave Afghanistan

A flood of emotions is due over forthcoming hours as relatives and friends welcome back home loved ones in the armed services. For some, happiness will be the overriding feeling. For others, it will simply be relief.


The final 70 Croatian army personnel taking part in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission are at last coming home. The lowering of the nation’s flag at Marmal camp in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan on Saturday 14th September marked the official end of the army’s contribution to the effort and signalled the last Croatian troops leave Afghanistan.

Resolute Support was launched on 1 January 2015 as a replacement to the ISAF operation. The objective of the mission was to provide training, advice and assistance for Afghan security forces and institutions in order for them to deal with extremist groups such as the Taliban and ISIS. In the 13 years of the preceding ISAF mission, more than 3,500 foreign troops lost their lives. 2224 of them were American.


At the peak of their participation, around 100 Croatian servicemen and women were stationed in Afghanistan. Last year, 8,475 Americans were training Afghan forces in the country, 5,500 were engaged in counter-terrorism missions, 8,673 allied soldiers were supporting and 27,000 military contractors were also part of the effort. In July of this year, there were 76 Croatian soldiers left in the country.

As the last Croatian troops leave Afghanistan, anxious worry among those waiting at home can finally ebb away. It can’t have been an easy time for them. As recently as last summer, Croatian troops positioned in the country were caught in a fatal attack.

On 23 July 2019, one vehicle in a five-car Croatian convoy was hit by a suicide bomber while on its way to Lyon camp. Three members of the Croatian Army were injured in the attack, two of them seriously. Tragically, one man died from his injuries the following day.


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All photos © Croatian army


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