(CNN) -- France pulled its last troops engaged directly in combat out of Afghanistan Saturday, in line with a promise by President Francois Hollande to accelerate his country's withdrawal from the long-running conflict.
About 1,500 French troops remain in Afghanistan to remove equipment and to help train Afghan forces, Defense Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhard said.
They are likely to stay there for about six months, he said.
The troops who left Saturday will spend a couple of days in Cyprus to decompress and rest before rejoining their families in France for the holidays, according to CNN affiliate BFM-TV.
Some 2,500 French troops in total have been withdrawn from Afghanistan over the past year, the channel reported.
French personnel will continue to run Kabul's international airport and serve at the city's military hospital into 2014, BFM-TV said.
France was one of the bigger contributors of troops to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
The United States, whose troops make up the bulk of the force, still has some 68,000 personnel in Afghanistan.
Coalition forces are working to get Afghan security forces ready to take charge of security after all NATO-led troops withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.