KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Canada's combat commander says his troops will begin to withdraw from Afghanistan by the middle or end of June and be out by the end of July.
Lt. Col. Henri-Michel St-Louis told Postmedia News Sunday, Canada's remaining combat troops in Afghanistan will pull back from "outside the wire" to Kandahar Airfield or to Canada.
"I don't have specific orders but what I have been telling my guys over the last couple of weeks is that we are now concentrating on that window," said St-Louis.
"Obviously the date that the individual soldier is to go home is foremost on his mind. As the plan is finalized we will be informing the guys."
Although the formal transfer of the Royal 22nd Regiment's 1,300 combat troops stationed in the Panjwaii district to U.S. authority has not yet been authorized, it will most likely take place sometime early in July.
"To be honest, I wasn't too privy to the to-and-fro between Task Force Kandahar and RC South (Regional Command South) or, as you put it, between Canada and the U.S.," he said.
"A relief in place of a combat force like ours in the middle of the fighting season in the summer is obviously complicated. There has been Ph.D.-level planning that had courses of action which saw it (Canada's withdrawal) a bit earlier and a bit later or somewhere in between."