EE.UU. on Monday ended his mission in Afghanistan, after 20 years of war, after the departure of the last planes with their troops.
This was announced by the Chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Kenneth McKenzie, in a press conference from the Pentagon, in which he intervened telematically
– EFE News (@EFEnoticias) August 30, 2021
“I am here to announce the culmination of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the mission to evacuate US citizens, third country nationals and vulnerable Afghans, “the general began.
McKenzie detailed that the last American military plane, a C-17, took off from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday at 3:29 p.m. EDT (19:29 GMT).
On that last flight, the acting US Ambassador, Ross Wilson, was traveling.
“Now the last drone is clearing (air) space over Afghanistan”said the CENTCOM chief.
McKenzie added that even though the military withdrawal has been completed, the diplomatic mission is still continuing to ensure that more US citizens and that “Fit Afghans” who want to leave can do so.
“Tonight’s withdrawal means the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also the end of the mission that began almost 20 years ago in Afghanistan, shortly after September 11, 2001, “he said.
[Amplía] The last American soldier has left Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced today, leaving the country in the hands of the Taliban, its enemies of 20 years, at the end of the longest war in American history. #AFP pic.twitter.com/RqRQ40ECJX
– Agence France-Presse (@AFPespanol) August 30, 2021
The general recalled that it was “A mission that ended Osama bin Laden, along with his al Qaeda collaborators.”
“It has not been a cheap mission. The cost has been 2,461 American soldiers and civilians killed and more than 20,000 wounded,” remarked.
He explained that since August 14, a day before the Taliban took Kabul, more than 79,000 civilians have been evacuated on US military flights from Hamid Karzai International Airport, including 6,000 Americans.
Along with the international coalition flights, the figure rises to more than 123,000 evacuated civilians.
These numbers do not include the more than 5,000 soldiers – 5,800 according to data from the Pentagon last week – deployed in recent weeks to ensure the protection of the airport during evacuations and who have already been removed from the country.
Despite completing the withdrawal, McKenzie assured that the US “always” will reserve the right to attack targets of Al Qaeda or the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group if necessary.
In this way, the US puts an end to its withdrawal from Afghanistan within the deadline set by the president, Joe Biden, who set August 31 as the deadline to finish leaving the country.