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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 instructed 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 had been compelled right into a hasty exit. They depart behind 1000’s of Afghans who helped Western nations 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 instructed reporters.
More than 122,000 folks 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 nations in addition to translators, native embassy employees, civil rights activists, journalists and different Afghans weak to reprisals.
The evacuations turned 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 folks accountable.
The departure occurred after the US anti-missile defences intercepted rockets fired at Kabul’s airport.
Two US officers mentioned “core” diplomatic employees had 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 duty 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 automotive full of explosives, however which Afghans mentioned had struck civilians.
Tuesday’s deadline for troops to depart 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 automotive bomber suspected of getting ready to assault the airport.
The Democratic president has caught to his objective of ending America’s longest war, saying the United States way back achieved the targets 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.
Evacuations
Most of the greater than 20 allied nations 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, nonetheless, and the chaotic scenes outdoors the airport for the previous two weeks, the place 1000’s thronged day-after-day to attempt to get previous the gates, had been a bitter coda to the West’s two-decade involvement in Afghanistan.
While the Taliban have sought to current a extra average face to the world and erase reminiscences of the cruel fundamentalist rule they practised within the Nineties, the desperation by many Afghans to flee the nation confirmed clearly the concern impressed by the Islamist group.
Their seizure of town on Aug. 15, after the Western-backed authorities collapsed and not using a combat and President Ashraf Ghani fled, accomplished a lightning marketing campaign that noticed them sweep up all of the nation’s main cities in per 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 turning 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 cope with a collapse within the Afghani forex and rising meals inflation.



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