Taliban walk across Kabul airport runway, say want good ties with US

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The two-decades-old war in Afghanistan came to an end on Monday midnight as the plane carrying the remaining American troops left the country, reports Asian Lite News

Taliban leaders on Tuesday symbolically walked across the runway of Kabul international airport to mark their victory in Afghanistan as the US forces completed the withdrawal process. The group that regained control over the country, a fortnight ago, also said that they “want good diplomatic relations with the US.”

“This victory belongs to us all,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said during the celebration. “The world should have learned their lesson and this is the enjoyable moment of victory,” Mujahid also said from the runway.

Until now, the airport was in control of the US forces. The two-decades-old war in Afghanistan came to an end on Monday midnight as the plane carrying the remaining American troops left the country. “Every single US service member is out of Afghanistan, I can say that with absolute certainty,” General Kenneth F McKenzie, head of the US Central Command, said.

(Image Source ANI)

The US-supported Afghan government collapsed on August 15 after the Taliban seized control of the capital city of Kabul. The military takeover led to chaotic scenes at the very same Hamid Karzai International airport after thousands of Afghans made a desperate attempt to flee the brutal regime of Sunni fundamentalists. Last week, an Islamic State suicide attack at an airport gate killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members.

With Taliban’s return to power, panic has gripped country as many Afghan fear a repeat of Taliban’s initial rule from 1996-2001, which was infamous for their treatment of girls and women, as well as a brutal justice system.

However, since their takeover, the group has repeatedly promised a more tolerant and moderate rule compared with their first stint in power.

Over 120,000 US, foreign citizens, Afghan nationals evacuated in last 17 days

Meanwhile, President Biden on Monday said that over 120,000 US and foreign citizens, Afghan nationals have been evacuated in the last 17 days as 20-year US military presence in Afghanistan has ended.

“The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended,” Biden said in a statement.

Photo taken with mobile phone shows smoke rises near the blast site at an airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 26, 2021. (Str/Xinhua/IANS)

“Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond August 31,” he said, adding that “for now, I will report that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned. Their view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops, and secure the prospects of civilian departures for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead.”

The Pentagon on Monday announced that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has been completed, after 20 years of US military operations.

“I announce the completion of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens and Afghans. The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai Airport on August 30 this afternoon at 3:29 pm (local time),” said US General Kenneth F. McKenzie.

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