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U.S. ends 20-year conflict in Afghanistan with ultimate evacuation flights out of Kabul

A handout picture of a C-17 Globemaster III plane at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, Kabul.

Handout | Getty Photographs Information

WASHINGTON — America’s longest conflict is over.

America completed its withdrawal efforts from Kabul’s airport, the Pentagon stated Monday, successfully ending a two-decade battle that started not lengthy after the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11, 2001.

After the Pentagon’s announcement, President Joe Biden, in a press release Monday night, thanked the American navy and stated he would handle the nation Tuesday afternoon about his resolution to not extend the U.S. mission in Afghanistan past Aug. 31.

“The previous 17 days have seen our troops execute the biggest airlift in U.S. historical past, evacuating over 120,000 U.S. residents, residents of our allies, and Afghan allies of the USA,” the president stated within the assertion.

“They’ve completed it with unmatched braveness, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year navy presence in Afghanistan has ended.”

Within the ultimate week of the withdrawal, terrorists from the group ISIS-Ok killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans in an assault outdoors the airport. U.S. forces retaliated and launched strikes in a bid to thwart different assaults.

The final C-17 navy cargo plane departed Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport on Monday afternoon, in accordance with U.S. Marine Corps Normal Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, finishing a large evacuation effort that flew greater than 116,000 folks out of Afghanistan over the previous two weeks.

“Whereas the navy evacuation is full, the diplomatic mission to make sure extra U.S. residents and eligible Afghans who wish to go away continues,” stated McKenzie, who oversees the U.S. navy mission within the area.

As of early Monday, U.S. and allied forces evacuated 1,200 folks out of the Afghan capital on 26 navy cargo plane flights in a 24-hour interval, in accordance with the newest figures from the White Home. For the reason that mass evacuations started on Aug. 14, roughly 116,700 folks have been airlifted out of Afghanistan.

About 122,300 folks have been evacuated because the finish of July, together with about 5,500 U.S. residents and their households. McKenzie stated that there have been no People on the final 5 flights out of Kabul.

“We weren’t capable of carry any People out, that exercise most likely ended about 12 hours earlier than our exit. Though we proceed the outreach and would have been ready to carry them on till the final minute, however none of them made it to the airport,” McKenzie stated.

A State Division spokesman stated Saturday that roughly 250 People have been nonetheless in search of evacuation.

McKenzie, a four-star normal, added that there have been no evacuees left on the airfield when the final C-17 took off and confirmed that every one U.S. service members and troops from the Afghan navy drive together with their households have been additionally airlifted out on Monday.

McKenzie stated that the Taliban didn’t have direct information of the united statesmilitary’s time of departure, including that commanders on the bottom “selected to maintain that info very restricted.”

“However they have been truly very useful and helpful to us as we shut down operations,” McKenzie stated of the Taliban.

The Taliban return to energy

Taliban fighters patrol in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood within the metropolis of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.

Rahmat Gul | AP

The U.S. started its conflict in Afghanistan in October 2001, weeks after Sept. 11. The Taliban on the time offered sanctuary to al-Qaida, the group that deliberate and carried out the devastating terrorist assaults on the World Commerce Heart and the Pentagon.

Since then, about 2,500 U.S. service members have died within the battle, which additionally claimed the lives of over 100,000 Afghan troops, police personnel and civilians.

Now the Taliban are but once more in energy.

Within the ultimate weeks of a deliberate exodus of overseas forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban carried out a succession of surprising battlefield good points.

The Taliban seized Bagram Air Base, a sprawling and once-stalwart U.S. navy set up, lower than two months after U.S. commanders transferred it over to the Afghan Nationwide Safety and Protection Drive.

In 2012, at its peak, Bagram noticed greater than 100,000 U.S. troops move by way of. It was the biggest U.S. navy set up in Afghanistan.

Because the Taliban moved nearer to the capital, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation and Western nations rushed to evacuate embassies amid a deteriorating safety scenario.

Biden ordered the deployment of 1000’s of U.S. troops to Kabul to assist evacuate U.S. Embassy employees and safe the perimeter of Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport.

In the meantime, 1000’s of Afghans swarmed the tarmac on the airport determined to flee Taliban rule.

Regardless of being vastly outnumbered by the Afghan navy, which has lengthy been assisted by U.S. and NATO coalition forces, the Taliban seized the presidential palace in Kabul on Aug. 15.

In April, Biden ordered the total withdrawal of roughly 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11. He later gave an up to date timeline saying the U.S. navy mission in Afghanistan will finish by Aug. 31.

Following the Taliban takeover, Biden defended his resolution to depart the war-torn nation.

“I stand squarely behind my resolution. After 20 years I’ve discovered the onerous means that there was by no means time to withdraw U.S. forces,” Biden stated a day after Afghanistan collapsed to the Taliban.

“American troops can’t and shouldn’t be combating in a conflict and dying in a conflict that Afghan forces will not be keen to battle for themselves,” Biden stated. “We gave them each probability to find out their very own future. We couldn’t present them with the need to battle for that future,” he added.

Last U.S. casualties of Afghan conflict

The Pentagon on Saturday launched the names of the 13 U.S. service members killed after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive close to the gates of Kabul’s airport.

The Aug. 26 assault close to the gates of Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, which killed 11 Marines, one Navy sailor and one Military soldier, is beneath investigation.

On Sunday, the president and first girl Jill Biden traveled to Dover Air Drive Base to satisfy privately with the households of the fallen earlier than observing the dignified switch of American flag-draped circumstances from a C-17 navy cargo airplane to a automobile.

The stays have been flown from Kabul to Kuwait after which to Germany earlier than arriving in Dover.

It marked Biden’s first time attending a dignified switch since changing into president.

US President Joe Biden attends the dignified switch of the stays of a fallen service member at Dover Air Drive Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Photographs

A dignified switch is a solemn course of through which the stays of fallen service members are carried from an plane to a ready automobile. It’s performed for each U.S. service member killed in motion.

Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers Mark Milley additionally attended the dignified switch, together with U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger, U.S. Military Chief of Workers Gen. James McConville, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday and U.S. Air Drive Col. Chip Hollinger, who oversaw the navy logistics of the switch.

This story is creating. Please examine again for updates.


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