US troops withdrawn completely from Afghanistan

Mith the withdrawal of its last soldiers from Kabul airport, the US ended its military operation in Afghanistan after almost 20 years. “I am here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said US General Kenneth McKenzie, who heads US Centcom Central Command, on a video line with journalists in the Pentagon on Monday. This also ends the military mission to evacuate Americans, allies and Afghans seeking protection. The last US military aircraft took off from Kabul airport one minute before midnight (local time). The US ambassador left the country with the last C-17 aircraft. The diplomatic mission to allow people to leave Afghanistan is ongoing.

According to the White House on Monday, the US and its allies on the evacuation mission have brought around 116,700 people to safety since August 14. There are still tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan who want to flee the Taliban – most of them are Afghans.

The militant Islamist Taliban have hailed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as historic. The high-ranking Taliban member Anas Hakkani wrote on Monday evening German time on Twitter: “We are writing history again. The 20-year US and NATO occupation of Afghanistan ended this evening. God is great. ”He was very happy to see these historic moments after 20 years of jihad, of the sacrifices and hardships of which he was proud.

The Taliban spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that the last US soldier left Kabul airport at around midnight Afghan time and that the country had now achieved complete independence. “The sky is quiet,” wrote a reporter for the New York Times on Twitter. He could hear and see what shots of joy by the Taliban were.

West increases pressure on Taliban

The USA and the Western partners have repeatedly emphasized that there should be the possibility of bringing people to safety even after the end of the mission. On Monday, the UN Security Council increased the pressure on the militant Islamist Taliban in Afghanistan to uphold human rights and allow those wishing to leave the country unhindered to pass. The most powerful UN body has rarely passed a resolution to this effect.

US President Joe Biden announced in April that all US soldiers would be unconditionally withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11th at the latest. The date marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that sparked the US-led military operation in Afghanistan. As a result, NATO also announced that it would end its international mission. In July, Biden moved the full withdrawal date to August 31.

After Biden’s announcement, the Taliban’s triumphant advance accelerated, the militant Islamists took over one provincial capital after another – the Afghan security forces often offered little or no resistance. On August 15, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad, the Taliban marched into the Afghan capital Kabul without a fight and occupied the presidential palace. The US embassy was closed and the diplomats fled to the airport.

The airport in Kabul remained under the control of US troops even after the Taliban came to power. The US flew in 5,000 additional soldiers to secure the evacuations. US commanders coordinated with the Taliban. Dozens of Afghans and 13 US soldiers were killed in an attack by the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) last Thursday in front of the airport. ISIS and the Taliban are enemies with one another.

On Monday, IS again attacked Kabul airport. According to the US government, five rockets were fired in the direction of the airport. Major General William Taylor said three landed outside the site and one was blocked by a missile defense system at the airport. Another rocket struck within the airport area without endangering people or the evacuation mission.

Lost Taliban leader is said to be back in Afghanistan

The offshoot of IS, which is active in Afghanistan, claimed the missile attack for itself. “Soldiers of the caliphate” attacked the airport with six Katyusha rockets, IS-Khorasan, as ISIS calls itself in Afghanistan and Pakistan, announced on Monday on the “Naschir News” platform.

At least ten civilians are said to have been killed in a US air strike in Kabul on Sunday. The local TV broadcaster ToloNews reported that there were children among the dead, citing residents. The US government did not rule out civilian victims on Monday. “We are not in a position to deny that now,” said Defense Department spokesman John Kirby. This will be investigated further and the results disclosed. The US military announced on Sunday that the operation had successfully averted an “immediate threat” to Kabul airport from the terrorists.

According to the Taliban, the Taliban leader Haibatullah Achundsada, who has not been seen for years, is in Afghanistan. His whereabouts were unknown for years. Achundsada is currently holding talks in Kandahar, said Taliban spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid in an interview with the state news agency Anadolu in Turkey on Sunday evening. The Islamists are currently holding talks about the future government of the country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the first delivery of medical supplies since the Taliban came to power has arrived in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in the north of the country. An airplane made available by the Pakistani government with 12.5 tons of medicines and medical relief supplies from the WHO is the first of a total of three planned aid deliveries.

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