The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan had been completed, the head of the US Central Command, Gen. Kenneth Mackenzie, claimed. The Pentagon announced the last US military planes had left Afghanistan, marking the end of the 20-year US mission in Afghanistan.
2,461 American soldiers were killed as a result of the US operation in Afghanistan, more than 20 thousand were wounded, according to the commander. The United States and its allies reportedly took more than 123 thousand civilians out of the country.
Gen. Kenneth McKenzie added that the US military “did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out.” There are several hundred US citizens in Afghanistan who reportedly desired to stay in the country. U.S. officials did not mention thousands of locals left.
The last two US officials to step off of Afghanistan soil were Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, and the top US diplomat in Kabul, Charge d’Affaires Ross Wilson.
President Biden thanked US forces for executing the “dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled.”
“The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve,” the President wrote in the statement.
“The Taliban has made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments. It will include ongoing diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport allowing for continued departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” the President wrote.
Meanwhile, at the Kabul airport, the Taliban celebrate the complete withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
The representative of the Taliban movement Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that Afghanistan had finally gained independence after the withdrawal of American troops from the country.
“Tonight at 12:00 am Afghan time, the remaining American troops left Kabul airport and our country gained full independence,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman, said in a tweet.
According to various reports, the Taliban got new military trophies at the Kabul airport, including at least:
- 73 aircraft, but not all of them are in working condition;
- 70 MRAPs and more than a hundred vehicles, including 23 Humvees;
- disabled C-RAM air defense system.
In one of the hangars of the Kabul airport, the Taliban found at least one U.S. CH-46E Sea Knight. All 7 U.S. CH-46ES were disabled and abandoned in Afghanistan “due to age and maintenance problems.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- UPDATE: ISIS Targeted Kabul International Airport With Rockets As U.S. Finalizes Withdrawal
- In Photos: Victims And Aftermath Of U.S. Strike