United States and Turkish troops, in addition to international partners, are working to clear the restricted areas of Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport of people who entered the airport grounds by scaling walls and fences.
The Pentagon said in a statement on Monday that the troops were trying to clear the airport fields from the encroachers as the Taliban took control of the country and a transitional government is formed. The spokesperson of the Pentagon, John Kirby, also said that “several hundred” people have been flown out of the airport so far.
“We do not know how long this will take,” Kirby added, regarding the efforts to clear the field.
The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul while Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate their citizens amid chaos at the airport as frantic Afghans searched for a way out.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that, "The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen," after fleeing the country as the militants entered the capital virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed. The ensuing hours saw hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flood Kabul airport.
"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office, told Qatar-based media outlet Al-Jazeera TV. "Thanks to God, the war is over in the country."
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as government forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.
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