The United States completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan on Monday, ending 20 years of war that culminated in the militant Taliban’s return to power.
Forced into a hasty and humiliating exit, Washington and its NATO allies carried out a massive but chaotic airlift over the past two weeks, but still left behind tens of thousands of Afghans who helped Western countries and might have qualified for evacuation.
Celebratory gunfire rang out in Kabul after completion of the U.S. pullout that ended America’s longest war.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf said: “The last U.S. soldier has left Kabul airport and our country gained complete independence,” Al Jazeera TV reported on Monday.
A contingent of Americans, estimated by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as under 200 and possibly closer to 100, wanted to leave but were unable to get on the last flights.
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