Ahead of Tuesday deadline, US completes withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan after 20-year war – Times of India

WASHINGTON: The United States accomplished the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, the Pentagon mentioned on Monday, after a chaotic evacuation of 1000’s of Americans and Afghan allies to shut out US involvement there after 20 years of battle.
The operation got here to an finish earlier than the Tuesday deadline set by President Joe Biden, who has drawn heavy criticism from each Democrats and Republicans for his dealing with of Afghanistan for the reason that Taliban made fast advances and took over Kabul earlier this month.
The withdrawal was introduced by General Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, who informed a Pentagon briefing that the chief US diplomat in Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, was on the final C-17 flight out.
Having didn’t anticipate that the Taliban would so shortly conquer the nation, Washington and its NATO allies have been compelled right into a hasty exit. They go away behind 1000’s of Afghans who helped Western international locations and might need certified for evacuation.
McKenzie mentioned the ultimate flights additionally didn’t embrace some dozens of Americans who couldn’t get to the airport.
“There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out. But I think if we’d stayed another 10 days, we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out,” McKenzie informed reporters.
More than 122,000 individuals have been airlifted out of Kabul since August 14, the day earlier than the Taliban regained management of the nation twenty years after being eliminated from energy by the US-led invasion in 2001.
The United States and its Western allies scrambled to avoid wasting residents of their very own international locations in addition to translators, native embassy workers, civil rights activists, journalists and different Afghans susceptible to reprisals.
The evacuations grew to become much more perilous when a suicide bomb assault claimed by Islamic State – enemy of each the West and the Taliban – killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghans ready by the airport gates final Thursday.
Biden promised after the bloody Kabul airport assault to seek out the individuals accountable.
The departure came about after the US anti-missile defences intercepted rockets fired at Kabul’s airport.
Two US officers mentioned “core” diplomatic workers have been amongst 6,000 Americans to have left.
A US official mentioned preliminary studies didn’t point out any American casualties from as many as 5 missiles fired on the airport. Islamic State claimed accountability for the rocket assaults.
In latest days, Washington has warned of extra assaults, whereas finishing up two air strikes. It mentioned each hit Islamic State targets, one thwarting an tried suicide bombing in Kabul on Sunday by destroying a automobile filled with explosives, however which Afghans mentioned had struck civilians.
Tuesday’s deadline for troops to go away was set by Biden, fulfilling an settlement reached with the Taliban by his predecessor, Donald Trump to finish the United States’ longest war.
The United States mentioned on Saturday it had killed two Islamic State militants with a drone assault. On Sunday, the US officers mentioned a drone strike killed a suicide automobile bomber suspected of getting ready to assault the airport.
The Democratic president has caught to his aim of ending America’s longest war, saying the United States way back achieved the aims it set when the US-led invasion overthrew the Taliban in 2001, punishing them for harbouring al Qaeda militants who masterminded the September 11 assaults on the United States.
Most of the greater than 20 allied international locations concerned in airlifting Afghans and their residents out of Kabul mentioned they’d accomplished evacuations by Friday. Britain, carefully concerned within the war from the beginning, mentioned on Saturday it had completed evacuations and withdrawn the final of its troops.
Thousands extra Afghans have been left behind, nevertheless, and the chaotic scenes outdoors the airport for the previous two weeks, the place 1000’s thronged every single day to attempt to get previous the gates, have been a bitter coda to the West’s two-decade involvement in Afghanistan.
While the Taliban have sought to current a extra reasonable face to the world and erase recollections of the tough fundamentalist rule they practised within the Nineties, the desperation by many Afghans to flee the nation confirmed clearly the worry impressed by the Islamist group.
Their seizure of town on Aug. 15, after the Western-backed authorities collapsed with no struggle and President Ashraf Ghani fled, accomplished a lightning marketing campaign that noticed them sweep up all of the nation’s main cities in every week.
It is unclear whether or not the US pullout represents the tip of American navy involvement in Afghanistan – given Washington’s curiosity in punishing Islamic State for the airport assault, and protecting the nation from changing into a haven for militants.
Now in full management of the nation, the Taliban should revive a war-shattered economic system however with out with the ability to rely on the billions of {dollars} in international assist that flowed to the earlier ruling elite and fed systemic corruption.
Cut off from some $9 billion in international reserves and lacking 1000’s of educated specialists who’ve joined the exodus, the inexperienced new administration should take care of a collapse within the Afghani foreign money and rising meals inflation.

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