A major general was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan on Monday (30), according to the US Department of Defense (see picture above). Christopher Donahue occupies the post known in Brazil as a brigadier general.
head of Airborne Division, an army division specializing in parachute operations in hazardous areas, he had been sent to Afghanistan to assist in the withdrawal of diplomats, military personnel and allies following the Taliban’s resumption of power.
In an image released by US Defense, Donohue is seen alone, carrying his firearm, as he prepares to board the Army’s C-17 aircraft. Behind him, you can see a hangar at the Kabul airport.
With the last flight of the US Army departing from Kabul International Airport this Monday, the longest military occupation in US history ended.
Major General Christopher Donahue (right) converses with soldiers at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in undated photo — Photo: Reproduction/82ndABNDiv
US President Joe Biden said in a statement that the withdrawal mission ended two decades of US military presence in Afghanistan and paid tribute to the 13 soldiers killed in a terrorist attack at Kabul airport last week.
“[A missão foi concluída] in the early hours of August 31, Kabul time, and no more Americans will lose their lives,” the president said.
Biden at the White House after attacks in Kabul on Thursday (26). — Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
He also said that he will make a statement on Tuesday afternoon (31) to explain the decision not to extend the withdrawal of troops beyond the established deadline and stated that the international community expects the Taliban fulfill their commitment to allow those who want to leave the country to leave the country.
The head of the US Central Command, the body responsible for military operations in the region, Gen. Frank McKenzie, told a news conference that the US ambassador to Kabul boarded the last flight on Monday leaving the Afghan capital’s international airport.
“The last American occupant withdrew from Kabul airport at 12:00 and our country gained its full independence,” wrote the spokesman on Twitter.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement that he expects more countries to offer to permanently receive Afghans who have left the country. “This operation was a global undertaking in all senses”, he pointed out.
According to him, “a new chapter of US engagement with Afghanistan has begun. One in which we will lead with diplomacy” (see the video below).
‘The military mission is over, but the diplomatic work begins,’ says US secretary on withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
The secretary informed that diplomatic activities in the country were ended after the withdrawal this Monday, and transferred to Doha, Qatar. But he assured that if the Americans who remained in Afghanistan change their minds and decide to leave, they will still have help.
“Protecting Americans abroad remains the department’s most vital and enduring mission,” Blinken said.
The Taliban, which returned to power on Aug. 15, took control of the airport, which had been under US command since fall of the afghan government for extremists. On a social network, a spokesman for the group announced the end of the occupation and celebrated what he called “independence”.
According to the Pentagon, over 120,000 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan in the last two weeks. About 500 citizens would have chosen to remain in the country. Blinken estimates that they would be less, from 150 to 200, but says it is difficult to pinpoint the number, as there are many people with dual citizenship.