BREAKING NEWS: Pentagon confirms the LAST US troops and evacuation flights have left Afghanistan just after midnight in Kabul: Taliban ‘takes control of airport and celebrates with gunfire’ as 20-year war ends
- Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie said last flight left Kabul shortly after midnight
- It brings an end to America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan
- Witnesses said Taliban fighters fired celebratory shots into the air in Kabul
The Pentagon announced on Monday afternoon that the last American troops had left Kabul airport almost 24 hours ahead of schedule, ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan after 20 years and the deaths of more than 2372 troops.
Witnesses in Kabul said the Taliban let off celebratory gunfire as news circulated that the final U.S. flight had left.
It means President Biden managed to meet his August 31 deadline, but at the cost of letting a militant group retake the country and after the deaths of 13 U.S. service members last week.
‘I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens third country nationals and vulnerable Afghans,’ said Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command.
He said the last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport at 3:29 pm East Coast time.
‘And the last manned aircraft is now clearing the airspace above Afghanistan,’ he added.
‘The last manned aircraft is now clearing the airspace above Afghanistan,’ said Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command
A C-17 Globemaster takes off as Taliban fighters secure the outer perimeter, alongside the American controlled side of of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. A day later the U.S. said the last flight had left
The departure of American troops means the conflict ends with the Taliban back in power and Afghans deeply uncertain of what the future holds.
The Pentagon remained tight-lipped about its final operations on Monday and refused to discuss when its last troops would leave.
Earlier in the day, spokesman John Kirby told reporters “there is still time” for Americans to join a massive airlift that has allowed more than 116,000 people to leave since the Taliban swept back into power two weeks ago.
All day Monday, U.S. military transport jets came and went despite a rocket attack early in the morning.
President Joe Biden attended on Sunday the dignified transfer of the remains of service members killed in the Kabul airport attack last week
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