Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images
The United States has completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan following a chaotic airlift nearly 20 years after it invaded the country in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on America, Pentagon officials have confirmed.
Evacuation flights from Afghanistan came to an end ahead of the negotiated deadline of August 31.
Western allies agreed to remove all of their troops from the Taliban-controlled country by the end of the month after the militants warned Nato there would be “consequences” to face if this deadline was not met.
Evacuation have been winding down over the last week in preparation for flying foreign military out of Kabul airport, with assistance from the Taliban.
US president Joe Biden set August 31 deadline for the departure – despite pleas from his European allies for an extension – as he believed the US troops faced mounting danger if they stayed any longer.
In the final week before all troops were due to leave Afghanistan, concerns over a potential terror threat grew.
On Thursday, an affiliate of the so-called Islamic State group, Isis-K, took responsibility for the two suicide bombings outside Kabul airport which killed at least 90 civilians and 13 US Army personnel.
The UK’s evacuation process went into its “final hours” on Friday and called no more people forward for UK resettlement.
Some countries such as Canada had already stopped flying people out by then.
Nearly 14,000 people were flown out of Afghanistan in the last two weeks of August for resettlement in the UK.
Prime minister Boris Johnson claimed that this was the “overwhelming majority” of the eligible evacuees – although several MPs strongly disagreed and claimed the government had not helped enough people.
Biden has promised that US commanders will strike back at Isis-K after their attack.