US Troops Finish Withdrawal; Taliban Leaders Triumph over Freedom

Story Highlights
  • US met its deadline, withdrawing all its forces by August 31.
  • Nearly 123,000 civilians and 4,500 Americans were evacuated.
  • Taliban called for celebratory gun fire, marking freedom from US rule.

Kabul: The last plane carrying US forces left Afghanistan on Monday, meetings its deadline.  The US had a heartfelt departure from the land where they lost nearly 2,500 peers. The Senate scrambled in the recent weeks to evacuate Afghan nationals and translators who helped the American troops after the Taliban quickly gained control over Kabul on August 15.

The Taliban on the other hand celebrated freedom. Celebratory gunfire rang out in the early hours of Tuesday, and elated Taliban officials hailed the event. The Taliban leaders walked across the tarmac at Kabul’s Airport in a symbolic gesture of victory hours after the last US Plane departed, signalling the end of America’s longest war.

The withdrawal comes in the aftermath of the ISIS-K suicide attacks that killed dozens of people, including 13 US service members on August 26. However, the US on Friday and Sunday retaliated with airstrikes targeting Islamic extremists. President Joe Biden had pledged to hunt and take down those responsible for the attack.

Originally the evacuations commenced from July with at least 123,000 civilians evacuated from the war-torn land as of Monday, including 5,400 Americans.  Nearly 20 years after the first US Troop set foot on the Afghan land, Major gen. Chris Donahue became the last soldier to depart the country.

No words from me could possibly capture the full measure of sacrifices and accomplishments of those who serve, nor the emotions they’re feeling at this moment, but I will say that I’m proud that both my son and I have been a part of it,” said Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command.

Operation Enduring Freedom was launched at a moment of almost unprecedented national unity. The nation was reeling from the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, and U.S. intelligence agencies quickly identified as culprits Osama bin Laden and the Islamic extremist group he led, which was given haven by the Taliban.

Also Read: Afghanistan: Taliban Seized Afghan Provincial Capital

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