Taliban representative Zabihullah Mujahid (center, with shawl) speaks with the media at the airport.
Taliban leaders stated success over the United States from the tarmac of Kabul airport on Tuesday, hours after the withdrawal of the last American soldiers left Afghanistan in the grip of the militant group.
The airport that in current weeks had actually been the center of a frenzied Western evacuation objective was changed into a phase for Taliban events after the last United States aircraft left right before midnight on Monday, bringing an end to America’s longest war.
Videos revealed Taliban fighters filling the night air with shooting and strolling through the airport. As the sun increased on Tuesday, video footage revealed the militants making their method through a deserted wall mount scattered with devices the United States left.
In one video, militants worn US-style uniforms and holding US-made weapons took a look at a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter parked inside a garage. Taliban fighters were likewise seen presenting for photos while being in the cockpits of airplanes and helicopters that as soon as came from the Afghan Air Force.
But Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby informed CNN Tuesday he wasn’t “overly concerned about these images” of Taliban fighters taking a look at the deserted airplane.
“They can inspect all they want,” Kirby stated. “They can look at them, they can walk around — but they can’t fly them. They can’t operate them.”
He included that the United States armed force had actually made “unusable all the equipment that is at the airport– all the airplane, all the ground automobiles.
“The only thing that we left operable is a couple of fire trucks and some fork lifts, so that the airport itself can remain more operational going forward,” he stated.
Victory and unpredictability
Standing on the airport runway on Tuesday early morning, Taliban representative Zabihullah Mujahid informed a little crowd that “This victory belongs to us all.”
He was signed up with by greatly armed fighters from the Taliban’s Badri 313 unique forces brigade, kitted out in camouflage uniforms and desert boots.
Mujahid praised the Taliban fighters lined up, and certainly “the whole of the nation.” He stated the Taliban wished to have “good relations with the US and the world.”
On Tuesday early morning, Afghanistan’s approximately 38 million individuals woke to a brand-new stage of the Taliban’s takeover of the nation for the very first time considering that the 1990s, when it enforced a barbaric analysis of Sharia law that prohibited women from school, stoned ladies for infidelity, and plunged the nation into recession.
The Taliban have actually promised to govern more reasonably this time around, and stated they would still enable foreign nationals and Afghans with appropriate documents to leave the nation after August 31. But lots of Afghans are doubtful of their claims, and big enigma hang over the Taliban’s capability to run the nation.
Airport a lifeline
An instant difficulty for the Taliban will be protecting Hamid Karzai International Airport, a crucial lifeline to the remainder of the world– both for Afghans and foreign nationals wishing to leave, and for help to get in.
Afghanistan is greatly dependent on foreign help, and the WHO and UNICEF have actually currently had a hard time to get important food and medical materials to the airport in the middle of the mass evacuation operation.
Even prior to the political turmoil of current weeks, Afghanistan represented the world’s third-largest humanitarian issue, with over 18 million individuals needing help, according to UNICEF. But without any business airplane presently allowed to land in Kabul, getting help in will be hard.
Restarting business flights will likewise be important for individuals still wishing to leave the nation however who did not make it onto military evacuation airplanes.
More than 123,000 individuals were left by American and union airplane considering that August 14, United StatesCentral Command Gen Frank McKenzie stated Monday.
The large bulk of these– around 79,000– were left by the United States in what McKenzie called the “largest non-combatant evacuation” in the armed force’s history.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated the United States and allies were talking about methods to resume the airport as rapidly as possible to assist in safe travel out of Afghanistan for Americans, United States legal long-term citizens and Afghans who dealt with the United States.
“We discussed how we will work together to facilitate safe travel out of Afghanistan, including by reopening Kabul’s civilian airport soon as possible,” Blinken stated.
“And we very much appreciate the efforts of Qatar and Turkey, in particular, to make this happen. This would enable a small number of daily charter flights, which is a key for anyone who wants to depart from Afghanistan moving forward.”
Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, stated Sunday that Ankara had actually remained in talks with the Taliban about supplying technical aid to run Kabul airport, Reuters reported.
Cavusoglu stated evaluation reports revealed that runways, towers and terminals, consisting of those in the civilian side of the airport, were harmed and required fixing.
A variety of attacks on the airport in current days reveal that security will likewise be an instant issue for theTaliban As lots of as 5 rockets were fired at the airport on Monday, a United States main informed CNN. There were no reported casualties.
The rocket strikes taken place simply days after 2 suicide bomb attacks at the airport eliminated more than 170 individuals, consisting of 13 American service members.