As President Joe Biden prepares to complete his humiliating, botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban appears ready to close in.
According to a report published by The Hill, an unnamed official with the Islamic terrorist group said that it was “waiting for the final nod from the Americans to secure full control over Kabul airport.”
The anonymous figure was also quoted as saying that the Taliban has “a team of technical experts and highly qualified engineers” who will begin running the facility once all American forces depart, which took place on Monday afternoon, the Washington Examiner reported.
U.S. troops leave
Biden’s final withdrawal came in the wake of a suicide bombing carried out by terrorists with ISIS-K last week which, according to Fox News, claimed the lives of 13 American service members along with at least 169 Afghan civilians.
The Hill noted on Saturday that it remains unclear as to what the final transfer of power will look like, although U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor said, “We’re going to continue [to] run the airport up until the end.”
“Those details, as they continue to be worked out, will come forward,” added Taylor, who serves as deputy director of the Joint Staff for regional operations. “But right now, we will continue to run that airfield to make sure that we can execute our operations.”
He explained that as of Saturday, the United States had managed to evacuate a total of 117,000 people from the country, of whom roughly 5,400 were American citizens.
Yet, despite Taylor’s assurance that U.S. forces would remain “up until the end,” Fox News reported on Monday that hundreds of citizens remain unaccounted for.
“We did not get everybody out”
Fox News reported that State Department officials said on Monday that less than 250 Americans were still in Afghanistan.
“There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure,” CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said. “We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out.”
McKenzie went on to add that some equipment had been left behind at the airport, including a defense system that had been used to shoot down incoming rocket attacks by unknown actors. However, the general noted that the advanced U.S. missile defense system had been disabled.
The Biden administration has been widely criticized for allowing huge quantities of U.S. military weapons and equipment to fall into the hands of the Taliban, with many fearing that the terrorist force will eventually use that very equipment against the U.S. and its allies.