The Pentagon confirmed that the last plane left Kabul airport on Monday, ending the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan after two decades while leaving hundreds of Americans behind.
"I'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens, third country nationals, and vulnerable Afghans," said Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the U.S. Central Command, to reporters in a media briefing.
"The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai international airport on August 30 this afternoon at 3:29 p.m. East Coast time, the last manned aircraft is now clearing the airspace above Afghanistan," he added.
McKenzie admitted that hundreds of American citizens had been left behind, and there were no American civilians on the last flight out because they were not able to make it to the airport.
"There's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get out everybody we wanted to get out," he said.
He added that the U.S. would work to get them out diplomatically by the State Department.
"I believe our Department of State is going to work very hard to allow any American citizens that are left, and we think the citizens that were not brought out number in the low — very low 100s," McKenzie explained. "I believe that we're going to be able to get those people out."
The Biden administration has faced bitter criticism over the way the withdrawal has been mismanaged. On Thursday, 13 U.S. service members were killed when a suicide terror attack struck people trying to get into the airport. Dozens of Afghans were also killed and injured in the gruesome attack.
The Pentagon said that 122,300 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan since the beginning of August, but only 5,400 of those were American citizens.
"Every single U.S. service member is out of Afghanistan, I can say that with absolute certainty," McKenzie said.
Here's more about the end of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan:
"I'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan." www.youtube.com
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