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At Kabul airport, the Taliban parade victorious

The Taliban forces took possession of the airport in the Afghan capital after the final withdrawal of American troops.

“Congratulations to Afghanistan! This victory is ours to all, ”declared the main Taliban spokesperson , Zabihullah Mujahid, on Tuesday morning, August 31, at Kabul airport , over which the Islamists took full control a few hours earlier.

A little earlier, when they arrived in this area, they had fired shots and fireworks to celebrate the final departure of any American presence.

“We defeated the superpower. The Afghanistan is the graveyard of superpowers, “sang the armed men in traditional dress. Dozens of Taliban paraded heavily armed on the tarmac and took note of the aircraft left behind. Equipment that the Americans had demilitarized so that it could not be used by the enemy.

After two weeks of hasty evacuation operations, the last C-17 military transport aircraft took off from Kabul airport on Monday at 7:29 p.m. French time, or 11:59 p.m. Afghan time, said U.S. General Kenneth McKenzie, chief. of the command center on which Afghanistan depends.

The military withdrawal of the United States was therefore completed 24 hours before the deadline set by US President Joe Biden, for which this day will keep a bitter taste. He must address his fellow citizens on Tuesday, many of whom are wondering what these two decades of engagement in Afghanistan will have served.

The goal of suppressing Osama bin Laden was achieved on May 2, 2011, when American special forces killed him in Pakistan. But the United States remained in Afghanistan, in particular to form an Afghan army which finally collapsed in the face of the Taliban. President Biden has repeatedly justified the withdrawal by his refusal to continue this war, the longest in America, any longer.

KABUL: Hours after the final foreign forces flew out of Afghanistan, Taliban leaders walked victorious through the airport, flanked by guards dressed in special forces combat kit inspecting destroyed US helicopters. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid led a group of officials onto the runway, his usual stoic expression replaced by broad grin.

Hours after the last foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan, Taliban leaders walked victorious through the Kabul airport, flanked by guards dressed in special forces combat kit inspecting destroyed US military equipment.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid led a group of officials onto the runway, a broad grin on his usually stoic face.

“Congratulations to Afghanistan… this victory belongs to us all,” Mujahid told reporters. “America was defeated, they could not achieve their targets through military operations,” he said.

The Taliban’s “Badri 313” special forces unit posed for pictures, brandishing US rifles and flying the group’s white flag.

Once one of the most secure sites in Afghanistan, the airport’s passenger terminal was left in chaos with empty bullet casings littering the floor near all the entrances.

The airport was at the centre of a chaotic evacuation since the Taliban took over the country on August 15. The US and its allies airlifted more than 100,000 people, both foreigners and Afghans who feared reprisals from the new rulers.

Ensuring the security of the airport is a key issue, and the Taliban has repeatedly said they would not accept any foreign military presence in Afghanistan. They are in talks with Turkey to take over the civilian operation of the airport. No deal has been reached yet.

The departing US military disabled several aircraft and armoured vehicles – as well as a high-tech rocket defence system – at the airport, a US general said.

Central Command head General Kenneth McKenzie said 73 aircraft were “demilitarised”, or rendered useless, by US troops before they wrapped up the two-week evacuation of the Taliban-controlled country.

He said the Pentagon, which built up a force of nearly 6,000 troops to occupy and operate Kabul’s airport during the airlift, left behind some 70 MRAP armoured tactical vehicles – which can cost up to $1m each – that it disabled before leaving.

The US also left behind the C-RAM system – counter rocket, artillery, and mortar – that was used to protect the airport from rocket attacks.

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