The United States ended its 20-year involvement in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and officially ended its military presence on the last US military flight from Kabul.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) General Frank Mackenzie said in a television speech that the last C-17 military aircraft had passed through Afghanistan’s airspace after taking off at around 3:29 pm on Monday. .. It came hours before the deadline for President Joe Biden to suspend the final airlift on Tuesday.
“I’m here to announce the completion of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of a military mission to evacuate American citizens, third-country citizens, and vulnerable Afghans,” he said on Monday afternoon. I did.
In response to a reporter’s question, McKenzie said there were still “less than a few hundred” Americans left in Afghanistan, adding that the military and the State Department would work to evacuate those individuals. Earlier on Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said about 600 were still in the country.
“We didn’t give out everyone we wanted to get out,” the general said, adding that it was a “harsh situation.”
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan ended in a rush to evacuate more than 100,000 people since August 14, as the Taliban hijacked Kabul following a violent military attack that lasted only a few days. Last week, ISIS terrorists bombed Kabul Airport, killing dozens of Afghan civilians and 13 American soldiers.
Biden is currently facing criticism both at home and abroad. Even if the war is over, it’s not so much about handling the last evacuation that took place in the turmoil and questioned the credibility of the United States. Biden has repeatedly defended his administration’s treatment of evacuation, although he and other executives provided conflicting details about the situation in Kabul.
There were also questions about the intelligence reports used by the Pentagon and top military leaders regarding the speed at which the Taliban hijacked the country and the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government and military. Pentagon Secretary Lloyd Austin and other generals said the Taliban, designated as a terrorist group by some federal agencies, had not received information suggesting that the country’s government would collapse in just 11 days.
Meanwhile, the administration has received billions of dollars of blowbacks in American weapons, vehicles, aircraft, and other equipment seized by the Taliban.
The final withdrawal of the United States included the withdrawal of diplomats, but the State Department said with the Taliban, depending on how the Taliban established a government and complied with international plea for human rights protection. Leaves the possibility of resuming some diplomacy. ..
Earlier, the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban for several months and set a withdrawal date of May 1. Biden has postponed the withdrawal date to coincide with the anniversary of the terrorist attack on September 11.
A new threat posed by the withdrawal of Afghanistan and the takeover of the Taliban is the ISIS terrorist group. When the Taliban took over, the members released a number of ISIS members from prisons across the country.
Mackenzie noted the threat posed by ISIS, saying that the ISIS enemy Taliban now has to deal with the group.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.