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Taliban take management of Kabul airport after U.S. ends evacuations, marking victory – Nationwide

The Taliban held full management of Kabul’s worldwide airport Tuesday after the final U.S. airplane left its runway, marking the tip of America’s longest conflict and abandoning a now-quiet airfield and Afghans exterior it nonetheless hoping to flee the insurgents’ rule.

Automobiles raced forwards and backwards alongside the Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport’s sole runway on the northern army facet of the airfield. Earlier than daybreak broke, closely armed Taliban fighters walked via hangars on the army facet, passing among the seven CH-46 helicopters the State Division utilized in its evacuations earlier than rendering them unflyable.

Taliban leaders later symbolically walked throughout the runway, marking their victory.

“The world ought to have discovered their lesson and that is the satisfying second of victory,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid mentioned in a livestream posted by a militant.

Learn extra:
U.S. completes withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, ending America’s longest conflict

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The airport had seen chaotic scenes for the reason that Taliban blitzed throughout Afghanistan and took Kabul on Aug. 15. 1000’s of Afghans besieged the airport, some falling to their demise after desperately hanging onto the facet of an American C-17 army cargo jet. Final week, an Islamic State suicide assault at an airport gate killed at the least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

However on Tuesday, after an evening that noticed Taliban fighters fireplace triumphantly into the air, guards now blearily on responsibility saved out the curious and people nonetheless in some way hoping to catch a flight out.

“After 20 years we have now defeated the People,” mentioned Mohammad Islam, a Taliban guard on the airport from Logar province cradling a Kalashnikov rifle. “They’ve left and now our nation is free.”

He added: “It’s clear what we would like. We wish Shariah (Islamic regulation), peace and stability.”

Click to play video: 'Afghanistan crisis: Pentagon announces last forces have left country after almost 20 years'

Afghanistan disaster: Pentagon broadcasts final forces have left nation after nearly 20 years

Afghanistan disaster: Pentagon broadcasts final forces have left nation after nearly 20 years

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political workplace in Qatar, equally praised the takeover in an internet video early Tuesday.

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“Thank God all of the occupiers have left our nation fully,” he mentioned, congratulating fighters by referring to them as mujahedeen, or holy warriors. “This victory was given to us by God. It was attributable to 20 years of sacrifice by the mujahedeen and its leaders. Many mujahedeen sacrificed their lives.”

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. particular consultant who oversaw America’s talks with the Taliban, wrote on Twitter that “Afghans face a second of determination & alternative” after the withdrawal.

“Their nation’s future is of their palms. They may select their path in full sovereignty,” he wrote. “That is the prospect to carry their conflict to an finish as properly.”

Learn extra:
Canadian advocates flip to Pakistan border as U.S. ends Afghanistan evacuation

However the Taliban face what could possibly be a sequence of main crises as they totally take over the nation’s authorities. The vast majority of the billions of {dollars} Afghanistan holds in international reserves is now frozen in America, pressuring its now-depreciating Afghani foreign money. Banks have applied withdrawal controls, fearing runs on their deposits within the uncertainty. Civil servants throughout the nation say they haven’t acquired their wage in months.

Medical tools stays in brief provide, whereas 1000’s who fled the Taliban’s advance stay dwelling in squalid situations. A significant drought additionally has lower into the nation’s meals provides, making its imports much more necessary and elevating the danger of individuals going hungry.

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Through the evacuation, U.S. forces helped evacuate over 120,000 U.S. residents, foreigners and Afghans, based on the White Home, making it the biggest airlift within the historical past of the American army. Coalition forces additionally evacuated their residents and Afghans. However for all who obtained out, international nations and the U.S. acknowledged they didn’t evacuate all who needed to go.

Click to play video: 'Rockets target U.S. troops in Kabul as Afghanistan withdrawal enters final stage'

Rockets goal U.S. troops in Kabul as Afghanistan withdrawal enters remaining stage

Rockets goal U.S. troops in Kabul as Afghanistan withdrawal enters remaining stage

On the airport’s jap gate, a handful of Afghans nonetheless tried their luck to get in, hoping for any flight. As of now, nonetheless, business airways aren’t flying into the airport and it stays unclear who will take over managing the nation’s airspace. On their approach out, the U.S. army warned pilots the airport was “uncontrolled” and “no air site visitors management or airport service can be found.”

A number of of these making an attempt to return into the airport got here from Kandahar province, the Taliban heartland in southern Afghanistan that noticed among the conflict’s fiercest preventing. One of many males, Hekmatullah, who like many Afghans goes by one identify, carried paperwork he mentioned confirmed he labored as a translator.

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Hekmatullah mentioned he had waited 4 days for a possibility to depart.

“However now I don’t know what possibilities I’ve,” he mentioned.

Related Press author Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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