US completes withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, ends 20-year long war

Ending 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the United States on Monday completed the withdrawal of its forces from the country, leaving the war-torn nation into the hands of militant Taliban.

Taking it to Twitter, the US Department of Defense tweeted, “The last American soldier to leave Afghanistan: Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commanding general of the @82ndABNDiv, @18airbornecorps boards an @usairforce C-17 on August 30th, 2021, ending the U.S. mission in Kabul.”

In a statement after the withdrawal, US President Joe Biden said that the world would hold the Taliban to their commitment to allow safe passage for those to want to leave Afghanistan.

“Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended,” Biden said and thanked the US military for carrying out the dangerous evacuation. He plans to address the American people on Tuesday afternoon.

The Taliban fired celebratory gunshots into the air in Kabul to denote the US military’s complete pullout from Afghanistan.

In an interview with the Al Jazeera on Monday, Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf said: “The last US soldier has left Kabul airport and our country gained complete independence.”

While the military evacuation is complete, the US’ diplomatic mission to ensure the evacuation of additional US citizens and eligible Afghans will continue.

Afghanistan’s situation after the Taliban takeover

The militant Taliban’s forceful takeover of the Afganistan on 15 August has jolted the nation into a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds citizens desperately queuing at the Kabul airport to flee their hardline rule.

While the militant organisation took the reigns of the country, in an attempt to eliminate the fears of terror and orthodoxy, had promised security for all.

However, a leaked UN document had revealed that the Taliban had been conducting “targeted door-to-door visits” to their opponents (people who worked with the US and NATO forces alongside the Afghan government), AFP reported on 20 August.

Several other countries have been rushing to evacuate their citizens from the crisis-ridden nation.

An IS-planned blast at the Kabul airport on 26 August had killed 13 members of the US forces who had been standing guard at the airport in order to facilitate the evacuations. More than 170 civilians were also killed in the deadly attack by the Taliban’s enemy.

Following the blast, the US had retaliated with a drone strike on the IS a day later, killing a target in Nangarhar.

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