The US has completed the evacuation of troops from Afghanistan, the Pentagon said. According to representatives of the department, the military operation of the United States in this country is over, then the “diplomatic continuation” begins. US President Joe Biden said that he decided not to extend the operation to evacuate people from Afghanistan based on the recommendations of the US military. Meanwhile, the Taliban * also confirmed the withdrawal of American troops and declared the full independence of Afghanistan.
The spokesman for the US Department of Defense, General Kenneth Mackenzie, announced the completion of the evacuation of American troops from Afghanistan and the end of the United States military mission in the country.
Mackenzie spoke about this during a briefing, the full text of which is published on the Pentagon website.
“I am here today to announce the completion of the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan and the end of the military operation to evacuate American citizens, citizens of other countries, as well as Afghans,” he said.
According to him, the last American plane had left Afghanistan by this time. As the general noted, this is “the end of an almost 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001.”
“The military phase of this operation is over, now its diplomatic continuation begins,” Mackenzie said. At the same time, it is noted that the State Department will make every effort to help the American citizens remaining in Afghanistan and take them out of the territory of this country.
United States President Joe Biden also commented on the situation, saying that he had decided not to extend the operation to evacuate people from Afghanistan based on the recommendations of the US military. Biden said he was advised to complete the air evacuation operation as planned.
As follows from a statement published on the White House website, Biden intends to speak publicly on Wednesday, September 1 to explain his decision in more detail.
Biden also recalled that the Taliban * promised to provide the opportunity to freely leave Afghanistan.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, in turn, called the operation to evacuate people from Kabul one of the most difficult in the history of the United States. According to him, during the operation, more than 123 thousand people were taken out of Afghanistan, including 6 thousand American citizens.
- Commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, Lieutenant General Chris Donahue, who board the US Air Force C-17, completing a 20-year operation
- © XVIII Airborne Corps
He also said that the United States suspended its diplomatic presence in Kabul and moved diplomatic activities to Qatar.
In addition, the US Federal Aviation Administration has banned civilian carriers from flying over the entire territory of Afghanistan. The only exception is for one route along the eastern border of the country.
“Civil air carriers may continue to use the route for jet aircraft along the eastern border for overflights,” – leads TASS notification of the regulator.
It is noted that any civil air carrier that travels to or from Afghanistan, as well as travels through the airspace of the country, must first obtain permission from the department.
Representatives of the Taliban, against the background of the end of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, declared the full independence of the country. The corresponding statement was made by the representative of the Zabiullah Mujahid movement.
“Today at midnight Afghan time (22:30 Moscow time) the last American soldier left the Kabul airport. Thus, our country finally became free and gained full independence, ”Mujahid wrote on Twitter.
At the same time, the Taliban spokesman said that the movement would like to maintain good relations with the United States.
Among other things, the media reported on the end of consultations on the formation of a new Afghan government. As reported by Al Jazeera TV channel, the results of this procedure will be announced in the near future.
The Taliban also appealed to the international community to provide assistance to the Afghan people in areas such as the economy, education and health.
Recall that on August 26, representatives of the Taliban, after seizing almost the entire territory of Afghanistan, announced the end of the war. On August 27, several explosions occurred at the Kabul airport, which killed more than 170 people, including at least 13 US military personnel. According to media reports, Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the attacks.
A few days later, the Pentagon confirmed that the United States had launched an airstrike in Kabul, targeting a vehicle carrying IS fighters who intended to attack the city’s airport.
* “Taliban” – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003.
** “Islamic State” (IS, ISIS) – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.