After 20 years of political conflict and bloodshed, the United States announced it will pull out all its troops from Afghanistan later this year.
“It’s time to end America’s longest war,” President Joe Biden said of the historic troop withdrawal.
“It’s time for American troops to come home.”
Biden has long been a staunch critic of American presence in the South Asian country, but has repeatedly pledged that he will complete the withdrawal process kicked into motion, ironically, by former US President Donald Trump.
Trump’s original deadline was supposed to be May 1 of this year. However, Biden chose an even more significant and hard-to-forget date–September 11.
The symbolic new target date for the withdrawal, commonly called “9/11,” commemorates the 20th anniversary of the orchestrated September 11 attacks in the US that destroyed the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, caused by three planes hijacked by the Al-Qaeda terror group.
A fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was set to hit Washington, DC, but the terrorists who hijacked the plane was thwarted by the passengers and crashed in Pennsylvania instead.
The attacks went down as the bloodiest terror attack in history, which claimed the lives of thousands of civilians, firefighters and law enforcement authorities and billions in infrastructure damage.
The incident also forced the US to enter into Afghanistan in what became one of the most exhaustive manhunts for an international terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, leader of the Al Qaeda, and also supported the ruling forces in Afghanistan in its fight against the rebel Taliban group.
There are about 3,500 US soldiers left in Afghanistan, which went up to more than 100,000 a decade ago.
Biden said the Afghan government security forces can still expect US support and further encouraged peace negotiations with the rebel Taliban leaders.
(Photo credit: www.vox.com)