Taliban takes full control, says US experience a lesson to world powers
Taliban fighters have taken full control of Kabul airport as well as the whole country, saying the experience suffered by the United States in the country should serve as a lesson to world powers.
The fighters were seen firing guns into the air on the midnight of August 30 in celebration as the last US troops left Afghanistan.
US left nearly twenty years after it arrived the country following the September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Center twin towers.
Marine General Frank McKenzie, the head of the US Central Command, announced the withdrawal at a Pentagon news briefing on Monday, August 30, after the last set of Americans and Afghans at risk following the Taliban’s return to power flew out of the capital Kabul.
McKenzie said: “I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens.”
He noted that the last flight, a large C-17 military transport, took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport one minute before midnight Kabul time.
Recall that US President Joe Biden set a deadline of August 31 for the withdrawal earlier this year.
The final withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan meant the US military could not evacuate all the people that it had hoped to, said McKenzie.
Even after an airlift that flew more than 120,000 people from the country since July, “we did not get everybody that we wanted to get out,” he lamented.
Proclaiming “full independence” for Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that “American soldiers left the Kabul airport, and our nation got its full independence”.
A senior Taliban official said the Taliban had “made history” after the last US troops pulled out.
Anas Haqqani, a senior official of the Taliban tweeted: “We made history again. The 20-year occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and NATO ended tonight.
“I am very happy that after 20 years of jihad, sacrifices and hardships, I have this pride to see these historic moments.”
Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride said celebrations erupted in Kabul as the last US troops left Afghanistan on a flight from the capital.
“The celebrations here in Kabul have been underway for the past hour or so – the whole skyline around the city here has been completely lit up with bursts of gunfire, although it has died off in the last few minutes or so,” McBride said, reporting from the Afghan capital.
“This is celebratory gunfire … it’s all aimed up into the sky but it has to come down somewhere.”