Rate this post
August 31, 2021 @ 07:41 +03:00
The United States is a day away from ending its evacuation mission in Kabul, marking the apparent end of a 20-year Western attempt to create a stable democracy in Afghanistan. As of early Monday, Western forces evacuated 1,200 people out of the Afghan capital on 26 military cargo aircraft flights in a 24-hour period, according to the latest figures from the White House. Since the mass evacuations began on Aug. 14, approximately 116,700 people have been airlifted out of Afghanistan.
About 122,300 people have been evacuated since the end of July, including about 5,500 U.S. citizens and their families. On Monday, as many as five rockets were intercepted by U.S. missile defenses near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the site where U.S. forces are sprinting to carry out final evacuation flights since the Taliban gained control of the country two weeks ago.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that President Joe Biden was briefed on the rocket attack and reconfirmed that commanders should prioritize the protection of U.S. forces on the ground. The Pentagon said Saturday that it had begun its retrograde process — the withdrawal of U.S. service members. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that less than 5,000 service members remain in Afghanistan, adding that the U.S. would no longer provide an exact number due to security conditions.
Over the weekend, the U.S. conducted two known drone strikes against ISIS-K members believed to be involved in planning attacks against U.S. forces in Kabul. The strikes followed a suicide bombing attack that resulted in the deaths of 13 American service members. The Pentagon said Sunday that it was assessing the results of the drone strikes, following reports of civilian casualties.
U.S. winds down Kabul mission after helping evacuate 116,000 people in just over 2 weeks, CNBC, Aug 31