More than 114,000 people have been airlifted from Kabul airport in the past two weeks as part of the US effort. But the end of the US military involvement in Afghanistan raises a new set of questions for Biden and his administration.
Afghanistan crisis: Live updates
Here are the major developments-
Last troops exit Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war
The United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan late Monday, ending America’s longest war and closing a chapter in military history likely to be remembered for colossal failures, unfulfilled promises and a frantic final exit that cost the lives of more than 180 Afghans and 13 US service members, some barely older than the war.
Taliban celebrates US troops exit with gunfire
Celebratory gunfire echoed across Kabul as Taliban fighters took control of the airport before dawn on Tuesday following the withdrawal of the last US troops, ending 20 years of war that left the Islamic militia stronger than it was in 2001.
Shaky video footage distributed by the Taliban showed fighters entering the airport after the last US troops took off a minute before midnight, marking the end of a hasty and humiliating exit for Washington and its NATO allies.
“The last US soldier has left Kabul airport and our country gained complete independence,” Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf said, according to Al Jazeera TV.
What happens to Americans and at-risk Afghans left behind
The United States has evacuated more than 5,500 US citizens since evacuation flights began on August 14.
A small number of American citizens have chosen to continue to stay in Afghanistan, many of them so they can be with family members.
Tens of thousands of at-risk Afghans, such as interpreters who worked with the US military, journalists and women’s rights advocates, have also been left behind.
The Taliban have pledged to allow all foreign nationals and Afghan citizens with travel authorization from another country to leave Afghanistan, according to a joint statement issued by Britain, the United States and other countries on Sunday.
What happens to Kabul airport after US forces leave
The Taliban are in talks with governments like Qatar and Turkey to seek assistance to continue civilian flight operations from there, the only way for many people to leave Afghanistan.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that repairs need to be made at Kabul airport before it can be reopened to civilian flights.
Turkey, which is part of the NATO mission, has been responsible for security at the airport for the past six years.
Keeping the airport open after foreign forces hand over control is vital not just for Afghanistan to stay connected to the world but also to maintain aid supplies and operations.
What does the future US-Taliban relationship look like
The United States has said it does not plan to leave diplomats behind in Afghanistan and will decide on what to do in the future based on the Taliban’s actions.
But the Biden administration will have to determine how it is able to ensure a humanitarian and economic crisis does not break out in the country.
Some countries including Britain have said that no nation should bilaterally recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan.
What kind of threat is posed by Islamic State
The one area of cooperation between the United States and Taliban could be on the threat posed by Islamic State militants.
Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), named after a historic term for the region, first appeared in eastern Afghanistan in late 2014 and quickly established a reputation for extreme brutality.
The group claimed responsibility for an Aug. 26 suicide bombing outside the airport that killed 13 US troops and scores of Afghan civilians.
(With inputs from agencies)