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NATO Holds Ceremony Formally Ending Afghan Operation

The United States and NATO have formally ended their war in Afghanistan with a symbolic ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul.

The December 28 ceremony marked the end of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has fought an ongoing insurgency since toppling the Taliban regime in 2001 in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The commander of ISAF, General John Campbell, rolled up the green-and-white ISAF flag and unfurled a flag representing a new mission that will play a supporting role as Afghan forces assume control of the military campaign.

The new mission, called Resolute Support, will be manned by 13,500 soldiers, most of them Americans.

At its peak in 2010, the U.S. and its allies had 140,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Some 3,500 foreign soldiers have died in the 13-year campaign, including 2,224 Americans.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP