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Last U.S. Planes Leave Kabul, Ending 20-Year War In Afghanistan


The United States has withdrawn the final of its army out of Kabul, formally ending a 20-year battle in Afghanistan that has turn out to be identified for its large failures and lies that price trillions of {dollars} and the lives of Americans and Afghans alike.

The final C-17 airplane departed from Afghanistan at 3:29 p.m. EDT Monday (11:59 p.m. Kabul time), placing an finish to the nation’s withdrawal, which was rushed by the Taliban’s fast takeover and threatened by a lethal suicide assault that the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed accountability for.

“Tonight’s withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001,” mentioned Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, who leads U.S. Central Command.

McKenzie added that he can say with 100% certainty that each single U.S. service member is now out of Afghanistan and that there have been no evacuees left on the airport when the final U.S. flight left Kabul.

About 123,000 individuals have been evacuated since Aug. 14 in one of many largest airlifts in historical past, although the rising hazard to Kabul’s airport resulted in some Americans and 1000’s of Afghan allies left behind. The White House mentioned Monday that about 6,000 Americans have been evacuated or in any other case have left Afghanistan in that very same time.

The Pentagon mentioned there have been no non-military Americans on the final army flights, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned that there are “likely closer to 100” Americans left in Afghanistan who need to go away. McKenzie additionally pressured that some Americans expressed they wished to remain Afghanistan.

“I believe our Department of State is going to work very hard to allow any American citizens that are left” in Afghanistan to have the ability to go away, he mentioned. “I believe that we’re going to be able to get those people out. I think we’re also going to negotiate very hard, very aggressively to get our other Afghan partners out. The military phase is over, but our desire to bring these people out remains as intense as it was before.” 

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned the Taliban has publicly acknowledged it would permit individuals to travel exterior of Afghanistan after Aug. 31.

“That does not mean we trust what they say, but there is an enormous amount of international leverage,” Psaki mentioned. “There is a discussion about what our diplomatic presence may look like moving forward. Our current plan is to not have an ongoing diplomatic presence in Afghanistan” for now, however the U.S. wish to discover methods to work with Afghans.

U.S. officers advised The Wall Street Journal {that a} small handful of remaining U.S. diplomats additionally left on Monday and are protected in Kuwait. This means there are presently no U.S. diplomats left in Afghanistan.

The U.S. deadline to completely withdraw its army from Afghanistan got here on the heels of a suicide bomb that killed 13 U.S. service members and about 180 Afghans near Kabul’s worldwide airport. President Joe Biden vowed on the time to retaliate in opposition to these answerable for the assault, however mentioned the U.S. would proceed its evacuation operation. 

Since then, the U.S. carried out a drone strike it mentioned hit a suicide bomber on the way in which to the airport, although the assault additionally killed 10 Afghan civilians that included babies. Early Monday, ISIS-Okay fired a wave of rockets on the emptying airport, one among which the Pentagon mentioned was intercepted by its missile protection system.

A Ch-47 Chinook From The 82Nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82Nd Airborne Division Is Loaded Onto A U.s. Air Force C-17 Globemaste

A CH-47 Chinook from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division is loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III on Saturday at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul

“They remain a very lethal force, and I think we would assess that probably there are at least 2,000 hardcore ISIS fighters in Afghanistan now, and, of course, many of those come from the prisons that were opened a few days ago,” McKenzie mentioned of ISIS-Okay, which is taken into account extra radical than the Taliban and a hurdle for the Taliban’s means to rule the nation.

“So that number is up and is probably as high as it’s ever been in quite a while,” he added. ”That’s going to be a problem for the Taliban within the days forward.”

Biden launched an announcement after the Pentagon press convention saying he’ll handle the nation Tuesday afternoon on his determination to not prolong the U.S. presence in Afghanistan past Aug. 31 ― a move that has drawn polarized reactions. The president has requested Blinken to steer the continued joint mission with worldwide companions to make sure protected passage for any Americans, Afghan companions and overseas nationals who need to go away Afghanistan.

Ramal Ahmadi, Center, Is Supported By Family Members As He Weeps Looking Up At Jet Fighters Circling Above At The Conclusion

Ramal Ahmadi, middle, is supported by members of the family as he weeps trying up at jet fighters circling above on the conclusion of the U.S. withdrawal. The household was attending a funeral Monday for the 10 individuals the household mentioned have been killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Such a plan will embrace work to construct on the U.N. Security Council decision handed Monday afternoon, which exhibits the Taliban that the worldwide group expects the group to ship on its dedication to offer freedom of travel. Blinken mentioned Monday that the U.S. Embassy in Kabul will stay vacant whereas diplomats assigned to Afghanistan work out of Doha, Qatar.

“For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer tonight for three things,” Biden mentioned. “First, for our troops and diplomats who carried out this mission of mercy in Kabul and at large threat with such unparalleled outcomes: an airlift that evacuated tens of 1000’s extra individuals than any imagined potential.

“Second, to the network of volunteers and veterans who helped identify those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport and provide support along the way. And third, to everyone who is now ― and who will ― welcome our Afghan allies to their new homes around the world and in the United States.”


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