Connect with us

Latest News

U.S. ends 20-year war in Afghanistan with final evacuation



(Last Updated On: August 31, 2021)

The United States on Monday completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan after a huge but chaotic airlift that cost the lives of 13 U.S. troops and left behind thousands of Afghans and hundreds of Americans still seeking an escape from Taliban rule, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters in a first in the nearly 20 years since al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, attacks plunged the United States into war, not a “single service member” from the U.S. military was in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said in an afternoon news conference.

“Heartbreak” was the word that U.S. Marine General Frank McKenzie used as he described emotions surrounding the U.S. departure from its longest war after dangerous and tireless efforts by U.S. troops to evacuate American citizens and vulnerable Afghans.

“There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” McKenzie, the head of the U.S. Central Command, told a Pentagon news briefing.

The top U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, was aboard the last C-17 military transport flight out of Kabul’s airport at 11:59 p.m. Kabul time, along with the commanding general of the U.S. military’s 82nd Airborne Division, Reuters reported.

More than 122,000 people have been flown out of Kabul since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban – which harbored the al Qaeda militant group behind the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington – regained control of the country.

“But I think if we’d stayed another 10 days, we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out,” McKenzie said.

As the U.S. troops departed, they destroyed more than 70 aircraft, dozens of armored vehicles and disabled air defenses that had thwarted an attempted ISIS-K, locally known as Daesh rocket attack on the eve of the U.S. departure, Reuters reported.

Having failed to anticipate the Taliban would prevail so quickly, Washington and its NATO allies were forced into a hasty exit, leaving behind thousands of Afghans who helped them and may have qualified for evacuation and others who feel at risk.

The emergency air evacuation came to an end a minute before a Tuesday deadline set by President Joe Biden, who inherited a troop withdrawal deal made with the Taliban by his predecessor, Donald Trump, and decided to complete the pullout without preconditions.

Biden’s decision has led to the biggest crisis of his young presidency and raised far-reaching questions about the capability of Western democracies to build lasting institutions in their image overseas, and their willingness in the future to do so, Reuters reported.

The swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has drawn comparisons to the capture of Saigon by North Vietnamese forces in 1975 and shaken generations of U.S. veterans who served there and watched the wars’ final days with sadness.

Biden, in a statement, commended U.S. troops for carrying out the largest airlift in U.S. history “with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve.” “Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended,” he said.

According to the Reuters nearly 2,500 Americans have been killed in the conflict, including 13 troops in a suicide bombing by ISIS-K, locally known as Daesh, last week outside the airport. Many of them were just babies when the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks took place.

McKenzie said the Taliban helped secure the airfield as the United States carried out the evacuation. But he cited a rare convergence of interests: The Taliban wanted the United States out of Afghanistan, and the United States wanted to leave, Reuters said.

But he warned that the Taliban would have difficulty grappling with ISIS-K, a fierce enemy of both the West and the Taliban. He declined to speculate about future cooperation with the Taliban following the U.S. departure, even as Biden has promised to hunt down Islamic State militants responsible for last week’s bombing.

“They (the Taliban) let a lot of those people … out of prisons and now they’re going to be able to reap what they sow,” McKenzie said.

The withdrawal opens a new chapter in the U.S. effort to keep pressure on groups it sees as mortal enemies, including ISIS-K,and al Qaeda.

Following the suicide attack last week, the U.S. military flew in drones for strikes in Afghanistan on Friday and Sunday to attack ISIS-K. Experts warn that U.S. intelligence is far harder to collect from overseas and strikes are more risky, Reuters reported.

Latest News

Exiled Afghan politicians form council, call for talks with IEA



(Last Updated On: May 19, 2022)

A number of exiled Afghan politicians recently gathered in Turkey’s capital Ankara where they formed a council and called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to engage in talks with them.

The politicians met at the residence of former vice-president Abdul Rashid Dostum and included Abdu Rab-ur-Rasool Sayyaf, Atta Mohammad Noor, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Karim Khalili, Ahmad Wali Masoud, Mohammad Alam Ezidyar and Mir Rahman Rahmani.

Ehsan Nero, a spokesman for Dostum, said that the meeting was held to exchange views on how “we could change the challenging situation in Afghanistan.”

While urging talks with IEA, the politicians issued a statement and declared support for the conflict that is underway in some provinces in the country.

“Such a large meeting was held in Turkey with the Turkish police providing security. They will meet again in Austria two weeks later and then in Geneva. There is certainly something fishy going on,” said Ahmad Saeedi, a political analyst.

Habibullah Janibdar, another political analyst, however, said that such meetings would not help Afghanistan as Afghans have already tested these politicians.

The IEA meanwhile has already formed a commission to encourage Afghans in exile to return home.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the IEA, said that the “door for talks is already open.”

“We have no problems with any Afghan. We would welcome anyone returning. They would be protected. They would be respected. Their wealth would be safe,” Mujahid said.

“But Allah forbid, if they intend to start a war, then obviously Afghans won’t allow it,” Mujahid warned.

Continue Reading

Latest News

IEA claims it supports local media but urges them to stick to Islamic values



(Last Updated On: May 19, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said Thursday it will support and cooperate with media outlets and journalists, both local and foreign, but urged them to observe Islamic principles and keep the interests of the country in mind.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman said: “Today, the Media Violations Commission resumed its operations and the Information Access Commission will start its activities as soon as possible in the near future.”

He said the IEA is committed to supporting media outlets in the country in accordance with Sharia Law.

However, Mujahid urged media organizations to stick to Islamic values and principles in terms of broadcasting and publishing.

Mujahid said: “The government will continue to support media outlets financially and we will work to reduce the media’s problems to zero. We call on media officials to carry on their operations based on the principles of Islam.”

According to the Ministry of Information and Culture, currently, about 198 media outlets operate in the country, however, nearly 170 media organizations have closed down, largely due to financial constraints, since the collapse of the former government.

Many of these media organizations have lost staff who left Afghanistan after the US troops withdrawal while other, that were reliant on foreign donor money, lost all income.

Media support organizations have said that an estimated 6,000 media workers have left the country since the IEA take over.

Continue Reading

Latest News

US looking to expand ties with Pakistan: Blinken



(Last Updated On: May 19, 2022)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday told Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari that US President Joe Biden’s administration was looking forward to working with the new government in Pakistan and discussed “expanding partnership” between the two countries.

The meeting took place in New York on the sidelines of the food security meeting that the US is hosting in collaboration with the UN.

The meeting between Bilawal and Blinken came against the backdrop of strained ties between Pakistan and the US. The relationship during the PTI government between the two countries remained tense and there had been further dip in ties when former premier Imran Khan directly held the US responsible for his ouster, Pakistan’s Tribune reported.

Blinken said the US was keen to expand partnership with Pakistan on a range of issues covering economic as well as regional security issues.

According to a State Department statement, Blinken met with Bilawal to affirm the shared desire for a strong and prosperous bilateral relationship.

“The Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed expanding partnership in climate, investment, trade, and health as well as people-to-people ties,” the statement read.

It further said the two foreign ministers underscored the importance of US-Pakistan cooperation on regional peace, counterterrorism, Afghan stability, support for Ukraine, and democratic principles.

The foreign minister added that as the current chair of the G77 and China, Pakistan welcomed the support of the UN secretary general to the objectives pursued by the developing countries at the global organisation.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!