US completes military withdrawal from Afghanistan
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US completes military withdrawal from Afghanistan

31 Aug 2021 (Last Updated August 31st, 2021 15:21)

In the last 17 days, US troops have evacuated more than 120,000 US citizens, allies and Afghans from Kabul.

US completes military withdrawal from Afghanistan
A US Marine escorts evacuees to the Evacuation Control Center at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, during the evacuation. Credit: Staff Sgt Victor Mancilla / commons.wikimedia.org.

The US has completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan marking the end of a two-decade-long conflict that began after the terror attacks of 9/11.

The completion also marks the conclusion of a massive but chaotic evacuation of US and allied staff, vulnerable Afghans and other personnel from the war-torn country.

US President Joe Biden thanked commanders and other personnel for completing the retrograde within the scheduled deadline.

In a statement, President Biden said: “The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States.

“They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended.”

The massive evacuation began after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan following the collapse of the Afghan Government. In the final week, a suicide attack at the airport killed 13 US service members and hundreds of Afghan people.

Subsequently, the US conducted retaliatory airstrikes against Islamic State to kill an extremist who was reportedly planning future attacks.

According to a Reuters report, the last US troops destroyed more than 70 aircraft and scores of armoured vehicles as well as deactivating air defences before leaving the country.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III said that the end of a military presence in Afghanistan signals the end of America’s longest war.

Around 2,461 US troops and 240,000 Afghans lost their lives in the war.