Taliban control now-quiet Kabul airport after US withdrawal

Taliban control now-quiet Kabul airport after US withdrawal
A US military aircraft is parked on the tarmac of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: The Taliban now fully controls Kabul airport, as the last US military plane left its runway on Tuesday, marking the end of America’s 20-year-long war.

Vehicles carrying the Taliban fighters raced back and forth along the airport’s sole runway on the northern, military side of the airfield. Before dawn broke in Kabul, heavily armed Taliban fighters walked through Hamid Karzai International Airport’s hangars, passing some of the seven CH-46 helicopters the State Department used in its evacuations before rendering them unflyable.

Later, Taliban leaders symbolically walked across the runway, marking their victory.

In a livestream posted by a militant, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “The world should have learned its lesson and this is the enjoyable moment of victory.”

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Arabic service on the airport’s tarmac, the Taliban spokesperson rejected having a caretaker government and insisted that Kabul remained safe.

He said: “There will be security in Kabul and people should not be concerned.”

Mujahid also discussed restarting operations at the Kabul airport in another interview with Afghan state television. The airport still remains a key way out from the country for those wanting to leave.

The Taliban spokesperson said: “Our technical team will be checking the technical and logistical needs of the airport. If we are able to fix everything on our own, then we won’t need any help. If there is a need for technical or logistics help to repair the destruction, then we might ask help from Qatar or Turkey.”

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