US Defence Secretary praises armed forces for “successful” air evacuation from Afghanistan

US Defence Secretary praises armed forces for “successful” air evacuation from Afghanistan

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday that his country has completed the largest air evacuation of civilians in American history.

“We were able to evacuate 6,000 Americans from Kabul and more than 124,000 civilians along with our allies, and we did it all amid the spread of a pandemic and in the face of serious and growing threats,” Reuters news agency quoted Austin as saying in a press conference from the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence.

Austin considered that the evacuation was “a tremendous achievement not only for the US military but also for the armies of America’s allies and partners.”

“We are entering a new chapter during which diplomacy will lead the evacuation efforts from Afghanistan, we will continue to confront terrorism wherever it is and we will work to stabilise the region,” he added.

The US Defence Secretary announced that he would visit the Gulf next week to thank his country’s partners for their support and assistance.

The last soldiers of the US occupation army left Afghanistan on August 31, ending nearly 20 years of US invasion and occupation as the Taliban and allied resistance forces achieved victory.

The US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is estimated to have killed at the very least 200,000 people, the majority of whom were Afghan civilians.

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