The US has started the withdrawal process of its troops stationed at Kabul airport. The US Defense Ministry Pentagon said on Saturday that Washington has taken this step after talking to its allies. For the last two weeks, the US has evacuated about 1 lakh people from Afghanistan. With this, America’s war in Afghanistan for the last 20 years has also moved towards the end. Meanwhile, the Taliban have sealed the entire area of the airport.
The number of people around the airport decreased
On Thursday, 13 US soldiers were killed in an ISIS suicide attack. After which, in the early hours of Saturday, America retaliated by killing two top ISIS commanders in Nangarhar province. US officials have warned of more terror attacks in Kabul. Despite this, a crowd of thousands of people gathered around the airport to get out of the clutches of Taliban, but now they have been controlled.
Now less than 4000 US soldiers in Kabul
According to a Reuters report, less than 4,000 US troops are present at Kabul airport on Saturday. In the time between the evacuation of people from Kabul, up to 5800 American troops were stationed. The White House said the evacuation operation was likely to be the most dangerous in the next few days. The Pentagon has said that the US and allies have pulled about 111,900 people out of Afghanistan in the past two weeks.
Taliban took over the reins inside the airport
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban forces had captured parts of the airport and were ready to take control peacefully as US forces pulled out. The Taliban deployed additional forces around Kabul airport on Saturday to prevent large gatherings after a suicide attack two days earlier.
Roads leading to Kabul airport sealed
The Taliban have set up additional checkpoints on the roads leading to the airport that house Taliban fighters in uniform. Areas where large crowds had gathered over the past two weeks in hopes of fleeing the country after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan were now largely empty. Several Western countries have completed their operations to evacuate people from Afghanistan ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the withdrawal of all US forces.
Complete ban on Afghan citizens going to the airport
An Afghan who worked as a translator for the US military said he was with a group of people who were allowed to leave and who tried to reach the airport late Friday. He said he was stopped on the fourth after passing through three checkpoints. He said the Taliban told those people they were told by the Americans to only let American passport holders go.
Britain also ended the evacuation operation
Britain is also operating its last flights to evacuate people on Saturday. Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, said in a video from Kabul airport that it was time to call off this phase of the operation. But we have not forgotten those who still want to leave the country. We will continue to do everything possible to help them, he said.
[Attribution to NBT]