On the tarmac, the victorious Taliban celebrate gleefully after the last US plane took off from Kabul at night until Tuesday.
– Congratulations to Afghanistan, this victory is for all of us, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters who stood on the grandstand Tuesday morning.
Mujahid said the US withdrawal “is a lesson for other intruders and for our future generations.” At the same time, the tone is surprisingly restorative.
We want good relations with the United States and the outside world. He says we welcome good diplomatic relations with everyone.
You will help the Americans who have left
In a statement, President Joe Biden noted that the airlift over Afghanistan in recent weeks – through which more than 120,000 people have been evacuated – is the largest US operation of its kind ever.
“They (the army) did it with unparalleled courage, professionalism and determination. Now our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended,” he said.
With the withdrawal, the United States will also move its diplomatic activities in the region to the Qatari capital, Doha.
According to the United States, there are still between 100 and 200 American citizens in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said they would help all Americans who wanted out.
Leave military equipment behind
On the ground in Kabul, the United States left aircraft, vehicles, and military systems, but states that they were destroyed for not being used by the Taliban. The US military said that a number of planes and armored vehicles left at Kabul airport have become unusable and will not be used by the Taliban.
– These planes will never fly again. No one will be able to use them, says Commander-in-Chief Kenneth McKenzie.
– He adds that most of them were not in a combative state at first.
The same applies to air defense systems that were used as of late Monday to neutralize a missile attack on the airport, according to McKinsey.
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