British forces and American Marines formally ended their combat operations in Afghanistan after 13 years on Sunday in a ceremony at Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province. NATO forces lowered the British and U.S. flags there and handed the bases over to the Afghan forces now responsible for the war against Taliban insurgents. “It is with pride that we announce the end of UK combat operations in Helmand, having given Afghanistan the best possible chance of a stable future,” said United Kingdom defense secretary Michael Fallon in a statement. In a later interview with the BBC, Fallon admitted that there was no guarantee Afghanistan would now be stable and safe. “I think the generals have been clear that mistakes were made. Mistakes were made militarily and mistakes were made by the politicians at the time,” he said.