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“America’s Longest War Is Over”: Taliban Take Over Airport As Last US Plane Leaves Kabul

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here

(Update 730pm ET): With US forces now gone for good having officially evacuated Kabul just hours earlier, the jubilant Taliban fully clad in US military attire, triumphantly enter a hangar at the Kabul airport – which until just hours ago was held by the US – where they examine Chinook helicopters left by the US forces.

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(Update 615pm ET): those eagerly waiting for Biden to address today's official – and historic – US withdrawal from Afghanistan, will have to wait until 1:30pm ET tomorrow, when the White House said Biden will address the nation on the Afghanistan withdrawal: "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."

Biden's full statement below:

Statement by President Joe Biden

I want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled – in the early morning hours of August 31, Kabul time – with no further loss of American lives. 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.

Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond August 31. 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.

I have asked the Secretary of State to lead the continued coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan. This will include work to build on the UN Security Council Resolution passed this afternoon that sent the clear message of what the international community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably freedom of travel. The Taliban has made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments. It will include ongoing diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport allowing for continued departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer tonight for three things. First, for our troops and diplomats who carried out this mission of mercy in Kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled results: an airlift that evacuated tens of thousands more people than any imagined possible. Second, to the network of volunteers and veterans who helped identify those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport, and provide support along the way. And third, to everyone who is now – and who will – welcome our Afghan allies to their new homes around the world, and in the United States.

Finally, I want to end with a moment of gratitude for the sacrifice of the 13 service members in Afghanistan who gave their lives last week to save tens of thousands: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss.

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The U.S. officially ended its military presence in Afghanistan on Tuesday with the final flight out of Kabul, concluding two decades of American involvement touched off by the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, said Monday afternoon in the U.S.

"The military phase is over" in Afghanistan and now The State Dept "will take the lead," says Gen. McKenzie.

"My heart is broken over the losses we sustained three days ago," says Gen. McKenzie.

McKenzie said the Kabul airlift was the largest civilian evacuation mission executed by the U.S. military.

He said the "vast majority" of Americans who hoped to flee were evacuated.

$2.3 trillion later…

Source: Brown University

"final plane is wheels up. War is over."

Prior to the announcement, a notice went out to pilots that flights transiting through Kabul would be traveling in "uncontrolled airspace."

  • EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY HAMID KARZAI INTL AIRPORT (OAKB) IS UNCONTROLLED.  

  • NO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL OR AIRPORT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE.  

  • AIRCRAFT OPERATING INTO, OUT OF, OR THROUGH KABUL FIR AND LANDING OAKB SHOULD USE EXTREME CAUTION. 

  • AIRCRAFT SHOULD ADHERE TO STANDARD REPORTING PROCEDURES ON CTAF 125.2.

America’s longest war ended with a rushed withdrawal of more than 100,000 people since Aug. 14. That followed the Taliban advance to Kabul, and the killing of 13 U.S. service members in a suicide bombing outside the capital city’s airport last week.

The Daily Caller reports that Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw said Monday the U.S. is in a worse position now than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, warning of the reformation of Al-Qaida and wondering who will protect America from possible attacks moving forward.

“We’re in a worse position now than we were on September 10, 2001. It’s always worth reminding people, we weren’t at war then, but somebody was at war with us, and guess what, they are still at war with us. Joe Biden did not end any war. That was always the myth. That was always the false promise from politicians, ‘we’re gonna end the wars’. Well, the enemy has a say in that and they’ve made that pretty clear as of late,” Crenshaw said.

"It’s frustrating for a lot of us who served there. Now, don’t get me wrong, our service was not in vain. We got something out of that 20 years. What we got was no more 9/11’s and that’s not nothing, that’s something. But I am not sure who is going to be there to protect America from these kind of attacks in the future when Al-Qaeda reforms and finally gets some breathing room, which they’re very happy to have now, and can start to externalize their operations again,” Crenshaw added.

AFP is reporting that 'celebratory' gunfire is ringing out in Kabul (as well as the cheers of fighters manning security posts in the green zone).

A senior Taliban official said, after the US troops left, that "We have made history."


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