Final U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan
By Bill Galluccio
August 30, 2021
The final U.S. troops have left Afghanistan, bringing an end to the 20-year war. The U.S. and our allies evacuated more than 122,000 people, including 5,400 American citizens, since July.
"I'm here to announce the completion of our mission in Afghanistan," Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters. "The last C-17 took off at 3:29 pm."
The final weeks of the U.S. presence in the country were chaotic as the Taliban quickly took over the country, and U.S. citizens and our Afghan allies tried to flee the country. Crowds rushed to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, seeking to leave as the security situation deteriorated.
The terror group ISIS-K was responsible for an attack near the airport that resulted in more than 200 deaths, including 13 U.S. service members. In response to the attack, the U.S. launched an airstrike targeting those who planned the attack. Another drone strike destroyed a vehicle filled with explosives that posed an "imminent threat" to the airport.
The State Department believes there are roughly 250 Americans who are still in Afghanistan.
"We believe there's still a small number who remain, and we're trying to determine exactly how many," a State Department official told reporters. "We are going through manifests of people who have departed, we are calling and texting and WhatsApping and emailing our lists, in an effort to have a more concrete figure regarding how many Americans may remain."