Pentagon announces last U.S. troops have left Afghanistan

The Pentagon introduced Monday that the final U.S. troops had left Afghanistan, ending America’s longest warfare. “Each single U.S. service member is out of Afghanistan, I can say that with absolute certainty,” Basic Kenneth F. McKenzie, the top of the U.S. Central Command, mentioned at a briefing.

The final U.S. flight out of Afghanistan left at 3:29 p.m. ET, McKenzie mentioned. The heads of the State Division and Protection Division groups had been among the many final to go away: Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson and Main Basic Chris Donahue.

The 18th Airborne Corps posted a photograph of the final soldier to go away Afghanistan. He was recognized as Main Basic Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Military 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, by the Protection Division’s media arm, DVIDs. 

President Biden mentioned he would tackle Individuals on Tuesday in regards to the determination to not prolong the U.S. mission previous the deadline, though some Individuals and at-risk Afghans had been unable to evacuate. 

“For now, I’ll report that it was the unanimous suggestion of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the bottom to finish our airlift mission as deliberate,” Mr. Biden mentioned in an announcement Monday afternoon. “Their view was that ending our navy mission was one of the simplest ways to guard the lives of our troops, and safe the prospects of civilian departures for many who wish to depart Afghanistan within the weeks and months forward.”

U.S. forces “demilitarized,” or rendered ineffective, the navy tools it left behind, together with dozens of navy automobiles and plane, amounting to billions of {dollars} price of apparatus.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned later Monday that the U.S. stays dedicated to Individuals who’re nonetheless within the nation and to susceptible Afghans, even because the U.S. not has a navy or diplomatic presence, as diplomats assigned to Afghanistan will now function out of Doha, Qatar. Blinken mentioned there are “underneath 200, doubtless nearer to 100” Individuals left in Afghanistan.

US Afghanistan
On this picture offered by the U.S. Military, a paratrooper assigned to B Firm, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute, Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Fight Group, 82nd Airborne Division conducts safety at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021.

Grasp Sgt. Alexander Burnett / AP

“Now, U.S. navy flights have ended and our troops have departed Afghanistan. A brand new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It is one wherein we’ll lead with our diplomacy,” Blinken mentioned. 

The withdrawal got here almost 20 years after the U.S. navy first entered Afghanistan after the terrorist assaults on September 11, 2001. 

“Your service won’t ever be forgotten,” McKenzie mentioned on the Pentagon briefing. “My coronary heart is damaged over the losses three days in the past.”

Thursday marked the deadliest day in for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in over a decade, when 13 U.S. service members had been killed in a suicide bombing on the airport. Scores of Afghan civilians had been additionally killed. An ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan generally known as ISIS-K claimed duty for the assault, and the U.S. launched airstrikes towards ISIS-Okay targets in retaliation.

McKenzie, who has served in Afghanistan and whose son served there as properly, mentioned he felt “conflicted” when requested for his private reflections on the withdrawal. However he mentioned he was “centered” for the previous few weeks on the mission at hand to evacuate American citizens and at-risk Afghans who helped U.S. troops and had been desperate to leave the nation after the Taliban takeover.

McKenzie acknowledged that “we didn’t get out all people we wished to get out,” estimating that a number of hundred had been unable to evacuated. There have been no American civilians on the final 5 jets to go away Afghanistan, and McKenzie mentioned the flexibility to evacuate Individuals ended about 12 hours earlier than the final navy flight out. 

U.S. completes withdrawal of troops from Afgh…


The U.S. has relocated greater than 122,300 individuals from Afghanistan because the finish of July, together with 5,400 Americans, Military Main Basic Hank Taylor advised reporters throughout the Pentagon briefing.

McKenzie mentioned the Taliban has been “pragmatic” within the final couple of weeks because the U.S. withdrew troops and evacuated civilians. He mentioned “there was no dialogue of turning something over or something in any respect.”

“They wished us out and we wished to get out,” McKenzie mentioned in regards to the Taliban. 

McKenzie mentioned he’ll “always remember” each Marine, sailor and soldier who died. He mentioned the mission in Afghanistan has shifted from a navy mission to a diplomatic one. 

The White Home mentioned Monday that in a 24-hour span from Sunday morning to Monday, the U.S. evacuated 1,200 individuals from Kabul, with 26 navy flights and two coalition flights carrying evacuees out of Kabul. 

Over a 24-hour interval the prior day, from early Saturday into early Sunday, roughly 2,900 individuals had been evacuated, with 32 navy flights and 9 coalition plane departing Kabul’s airport.

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report. | Pentagon broadcasts final U.S. troops have left Afghanistan

Huynh Nguyen

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