The US military declared openly it has completed its departure from Afghanistan after a brutal 20-year war — one that began and ended with the hardline Islamist Taliban in power, despite billions of dollars spent trying to rebuild the conflict-wracked country.
Celebratory gunfire rang out in Kabul in the early hours of Tuesday to mark the moment, which came after the fraught final days of a frantic mission to evacuate tens of thousands of Americans and Afghans who had helped the US-led war effort — and which left scores of Afghans and 13 US servicemembers dead in a suicide bombing last week.
That attack professed by the Islamic State’s Afghan offshoot — gave uneasy urgency to the final days of the US-led effort to allow those seeking to flee Taliban rule out of the country.
Taliban Symbolically Walk Across Kabul Airport Runway
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 organization 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, according to an AFP report. “The world should have learned their lesson and this is the enjoyable moment of victory,” Mujahid also said from the runway.