A 20-year-long ‘bloody’ Afghanistan war has come to an end, with the United States completing its evacuation from the war-ravaged country.
The US Central Command announced that total withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan has been completed.
“I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the mission to evacuate American citizens, third country nationals and vulnerable Afghans,” Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, announced.
“The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 30, this afternoon (Monday in US), at 3:29 pm East coast time (US time), and the last manned aircraft is now clearing the space above Afghanistan,” McKenzie added.
The final flight left at 1929 GMT Monday – just before the start of Tuesday in Kabul, he said.
The withdrawal came before the end of August 31, the actual deadline set by President Joe Biden to call time on America’s longest war — one that ultimately claimed the lives of more than 2,400 US service members.
The evacuation flights have taken more than 123,000 people out of Kabul airport, according to McKenzie.
Meanwhile, the Taliban is congratulating Afghans on their victory on Tuesday, hours after the last US troops left the country.
Also read: PM Narendra Modi takes stock of Assam floods
“Congratulations to Afghanistan… this victory belongs to us all,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said from the runway of Kabul airport.
“We want to have good relations with the US and the world. We welcome good diplomatic relations with them all,” he added.
— Free Press Journal (@fpjindia) August 31, 2021
The US-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001, soon after the 9/11 massacre and overthrew the then Taliban administration.
The US had spent approximately 2.26 trillion dollars on the war and nation building in Afghanistan over the past two decades, or an average of over 300 million dollars per day.