Afghanistan: the US military has officially left the country

It’s official. The last plane of US forces left the tarmac at Kabul airport on Monday. A chaotic evacuation under threat from the Islamic State. At a press conference at the Pentagon, General Kenneth McKenzie announced that the US withdrawal operation had just ended. Shots then rang out in Kabul.

“I am here to announce the end of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the evacuation mission for American citizens, third country nationals and vulnerable Afghans. The last C-17 took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport this afternoon at 3:29 pm, ”General McKenzie said. The US ambassador in Kabul and a general are the last Americans to leave Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.

“On board the last plane, there was General Chris Donahue,” said General Kenneth McKenzie, who heads the central command on which Afghanistan depends. “He was accompanied by Ambassador Ross Wilson”. The two men are the last to board the plane.

A chaotic and bloody evacuation

A chaotic and bloody evacuation which brings to an end the longest war ever waged by the Americans. More than 170 people were killed, including 13 US servicemen, in last week’s attack near Kabul airport.

“We were not able to evacuate all those we wanted to evacuate,” said General Kenneth McKenzie, adding that the evacuations were completed “about 12 hours” before the final withdrawal but that the American forces there had remained ready. to evacuate anyone who might have reached the airport “until the last minute”.

Washington’s military withdrawal was therefore completed 24 hours before the end of the day on August 31, the deadline set by President Joe Biden to end the presence of the American armed forces in this country.

“If the military evacuations are completed, the diplomatic mission to ensure that more US citizens and eligible Afghans wanting to leave, continue,” General McKenzie added. Since August 14, over a period of 18 days, the planes of the United States and its allies have evacuated by a gigantic airlift more than 123,000 civilians.

The Taliban “celebrate” this departure

Shortly after their departure gunshots rang out in Kabul, shots fired from various Taliban checkpoints, as well as the congratulations of fighters at security posts in the green zone. This is the first time in nearly two decades that the United States and its allies have failed to have troops in Afghan territory, after spending $ 2 trillion and nearly 2,000 American troops killed in action.

A senior State Department official said on Monday that the State Department will have no civilians on the ground once the US military leaves Afghanistan. “We will not have civilians on the ground once the military is gone,” they said.

On Twitter, a Taliban spokesperson expressed his joy, writing: “Twelve of the last American soldiers left Kabul airport tonight. In this way, our country became completely free and independent. “

“We made history again. The twenty years of occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and NATO ended tonight, ”said Anas Haqqani, a leader of the Islamist movement, on Twitter. “I am very happy after twenty years of jihad, sacrifices and difficulties, to have the satisfaction of seeing these historic moments,” he added.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.