The war between the United States and Afghanistan comes to an end when the last troops leave Kabul
The evacuation effort began in chaos and grew more dangerous over time, culminating in a suicide bomb attack by the IS-K terror group that killed 13 American soldiers and at least 169 Afghans at the airport gate.
“Every single American service member is now out of Afghanistan,” McKenzie said.
US President Joe Biden said that “our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan is over.”
“For now, I will report that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned,” Biden said in a statement released ahead of a national address on Wednesday ( AEST).
“His view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops and ensure prospects for civilian exits for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months.”
Biden said the world will demand from the Taliban their commitment that people can freely access the Kabul airport and leave Afghanistan if they want to.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he believed that between 100 and 200 Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan remained in the country. The mission to evacuate them has no deadline, he said.
“The military mission is over,” Blinken said. “A new diplomatic mission has begun.”
Blinken says fewer than 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan who want to leave and the United States will continue to try to get them out.
The American diplomats who had worked from the now-closed embassy will be based in Doha, Qatar.
US Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, was the last US service member to leave the country. He boarded a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
On the remaining American citizens and Afghan allies who have applied for asylum in the United States, General McKenzie acknowledged: “We did not remove everyone who wanted to leave.”
He said he believed the number of US citizens remaining in Afghanistan was “a few hundred.”
“The military phase is over, but our desire to get these people out remains as intense as before,” he said.
“I think if we had stayed another 10 days, we would not have removed everyone who wanted to go out and there would still be people who would have been disappointed with that. It is a difficult situation “.
A divided UN Security Council pressed the Taliban on Monday to follow through on promises to allow people to leave Afghanistan after the United States withdrew its forces, but China and Russia refused to back the resolution, which they described as a deflection of blame for the chaos surrounding the US withdrawal.
The council “hopes that the Taliban will adhere” to commitments to allow Afghans and foreigners to depart safely, the resolution says.
The Taliban used Twitter to proclaim “full independence” after the last US troops left.
Around 1,200 people were airlifted from Kabul in the past 24 hours.
Biden had set August 31 as the deadline for the US withdrawal, and that date had passed an hour in Kabul when the Pentagon confirmed the end of the military presence.
IS-K previously claimed that it fired six rockets at Kabul airport in an attack that did not cause casualties and was partially intercepted by US forces.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon was evaluating reports that a previous drone had hit it. launched against IS-K militants resulting in the death of up to 10 civilians in Kabul.
“We are not in a position to dispute it at this time, we are evaluating and investigating,” the Pentagon’s John Kirby said at a news conference Tuesday.
The US Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that Kabul airport has no air traffic control services now that the US military has withdrawn from Afghanistan.
American civil aircraft were prohibited from operating over the country unless prior authorization was granted, the FAA said.
with AP, agencies
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