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US Completes Withdrawal From Afghanistan After 20 Years of War

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The United States has completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending 20 years of war.

On Monday, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told reporters, “I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal of Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens, third-country nationals, and vulnerable Afghans.”

“The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 30 this afternoon at 3:29 p.m. East Coast time, and the last manned aircraft is now clearing the airspace above Afghanistan,” he added.

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The departure of the last plane comes months after President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would withdraw from Afghanistan, and after the rapid collapse of the Afghan military and government.

The White House reported on Monday, “Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 116,700 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 122,300 people.”

Last week, a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. service members as well as scores of Afghan civilians at the Hamid Karzai International Airport who were hoping to flee the country.

The Pentagon said that there were less than 250 American citizens still in Afghanistan after the completion of the withdrawal. McKenzie told reporters that the State Department is now in charge of trying to get Americans and Afghan allies who want to leave out of Afghanistan.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News on Sunday, “Our message to those Americans is that after August 31st, we will make sure there is safe passage for any American citizen, any legal permanent resident.”

“And yes, we will ensure the safe passage of those Afghans who helped us to continue coming out after the 31st of August,” he added.

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