KABUL/WASHINGTON: Major General Chris Donahue of the 82nd Airborne Division becomes the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of US military presence in the country known as the “graveyard of empires”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the US military flights had ended and all US troops had departed Afghanistan. “A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy,” Antony Blinken said.
“More than 123,000 people have been safely flown out of Afghanistan. That includes about 6,000 American citizens. This has been a massive military, diplomatic, and humanitarian undertaking – one of the most difficult in our nation’s history,” Secretary Blinken said.
Commenting on the withdrawal on the agreed upon deadline between the US and the Taliban, who are now in control of Kabul Airport, US Special Representative in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad said: “Our war in Afghanistan is over.”
Videos emerging from Kabul airport showed that the Taliban had taken full control of the area including the hangars where several Chinook helicopters were parked.
Celebratory gunfire in Kabul was also witnessed as soon as the withdrawal of US troops was complete.