Image credit: Department of Defense
According to the photo posted by the Department of Defense, Major General Chris Donahue (commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps) was the last U.S. military personnel to leave Afghanistan soil. The U.S. troops withdrew ahead of U.S. President, Joe Biden’s 31st August timeline. While all U.S. military troops have evacuated Afghanistan, there are a number of Americans (reportedly less than 250) that did not manage to make it 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 got everybody out,” General McKenzie told reporters.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US and its allies are discussing ways to reopen the airport in Kabul as soon as possible to facilitate safe travel out of Afghanistan for Americans, US legal permanent residents and Afghans who worked with the US to leave the country.
After the U.S. troops departure, Taliban fighters celebrated their victory by firing their guns into the air in the Afghan capital. They see this as Afghanistan gaining “full independence” following a war that lasted 20 years.
As reported by Al Jazeera, “The Taliban has revealed to Al Jazeera that it is planning an “inclusive caretaker government”, which will include leaders from all ethnicities and tribal backgrounds,”.