The United States’ longest war, from 2001 to 2021, ended on Monday when the last American soldiers left Kabul airport in the middle of the night.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the US military evacuation of civilians had been completed and all US soldiers had left Afghanistan.
According to Austin, the completion of the evacuation and the departure of American soldiers marked the end of America’s longest war.
“The end of this operation also marks the end of America’s longest war. We lost 2,461 soldiers in this war, and tens of thousands more suffered injuries, visible and invisible. Battle scars don’t heal easily, and often never heal at all, ”he said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Taliban have declared that Afghanistan has gained full independence as the last American soldier has left the country.
“Tonight at 12:00 am (Afghanistan time), the last American soldier left Afghanistan. Our country has achieved full independence. Praise be to Allah. Our congratulations to all compatriots! said Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, said the US diplomatic presence had shifted from Kabul to Doha:
“As of today, we have suspended our diplomatic presence in Kabul and moved our operations to Doha, Qatar. For now, we will use this post in Doha to manage our diplomacy with Afghanistan, ”he tweeted.
Blinken, however, said US work in Afghanistan will continue and a new chapter has begun in US engagement with Afghanistan.
“I want to reiterate today that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We have a plan for the future and we are implementing it. US military flights are over and our troops have left Afghanistan. A new chapter in America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. This is the one in which we will lead with our diplomacy, ”he said in threaded tweets.
According to Blinken, the United States will continue to support humanitarian aid to the Afghan people through independent organizations, not the government.
US Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said the US war in Afghanistan was over and it was time for the Afghans to end “their own war”.
“With the departure of our soldiers and those of the many partners who have supported us, the Afghans are facing a moment of decision and opportunity. The future of their country is in their hands. They will choose their path in full sovereignty. It is also an opportunity to end their war, ”said Khalilzad.
According to Khalilzad, the test for the Taliban has just started to rule the country and reflect the diversity of Afghanistan and its history, beauty and culture to the world.
In conclusion, the US military rendered planes, armored vehicles and an anti-missile defense system unusable before leaving Kabul airport on the night of Monday to Tuesday, a senior US military official said.
The head of the central command of the American army, General Kenneth McKenzie, told the press that the American soldiers had “demilitarized”, that is to say put out of service, 73 planes before completing their airlift. two weeks to evacuate civilians fleeing the Taliban regime *.
“These devices will never fly again,” he said. “They cannot be used by anyone.”