(Nexstar) — Major General Chris Donahue became the last US soldier to leave Afghanistan, officially ending America’s longest war on Monday.
The Ministry of Defense released a photo of Donahue boarding a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Thousands of soldiers have spent a harrowing two weeks protecting the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seeking to flee a Taliban-ruled country once again.
Announcing the completion of the evacuation and war efforts. General Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, said the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29 pm Washington time, or a minute before midnight in Kabul. He said a number of US citizens, likely “in the very few hundreds”, had been left behind, and that he believed they would still be able to leave the country.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken estimated the number of Americans left behind at less than 200, “probably closer to 100,” and said the State Department would continue to work to get them out. He praised the military-led evacuation as heroic and historic, and said the US diplomatic presence You will move to Doha, Qatar.
Biden said military leaders unanimously favor ending the airlift, not extending it. He said he asked Blinken to coordinate with international partners to keep the Taliban’s promise of safe passage Americans and others who want to leave in the coming days.