Afghanistan updates: All US troops have departed, Pentagon says

Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boards a C-17 cargo plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. Donahue is the final American service member to depart Afghanistan, Aug. 30, 2021. – U.S. Central Command

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Chaos enveloped Kabul after Afghanistan’s government collapsed and the Taliban seized control. Now with the U.S. military withdrawal complete, America’s 20-year campaign ends as it began: under Taliban rule.

Officials said the terror group ISIS-K carried out what the Pentagon called a “complex attack” outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 13 American service members and wounding 20, among scores of Afghan casualties.

When President Joe Biden sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for an exclusive one-on-one interview at the White House, the president’s first interview since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, he warned of the threat of attacks on the ground and said he did not see a way to withdraw from Afghanistan without “chaos ensuing.”

Here are the latest developments. All times Eastern.

Aug 30, 9:19 pm
Taliban wield American-supplied equipment, uniforms after withdrawal

Moments after the last U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, Taliban fighters entered the Kabul airport, wielding American-supplied weapons, equipment and even uniforms.

Aug 30, 8:59 pm
Military releases image of last soldier out of Afghanistan

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, of the 82nd Airborne Division, was the last American service member to depart Afghanistan, according to Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command.

“On the last plane out was General Chris Donahue, the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and my ground commander, and he was accompanied by our — our charge d’affaires, Ambassador Ross Wilson, so they came out together,” McKenzie said at the Pentagon briefing. “So the state and defense team came out on the last aircraft and were in fact the last people to step on the ground.”

Aug 30, 8:04 pm
US engaging Taliban, but not recognizing it

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. will continue to engage the Taliban going forward — engagement that will be “driven by one thing only — our vital national interest.”

“The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support. Our message is any legitimacy and any support will have to be earned,” he said. “The Taliban can do that by meeting commitments and obligations on freedom of travel; respecting the basic rights of the Afghan people, including women and minorities; upholding its commitments on counter-terrorism; not carrying out reprisal violence against those who choose to stay in Afghanistan; and forming an inclusive government that can meet the needs and reflect the aspirations of the Afghan people.”

But the Taliban have already violated many of those — denying freedom of travel to some, violating their commitments on counter-terrorism, carrying out reprisal violence and more.

Aug 30, 7:37 pm
Commitment to Afghans who worked with US ‘has no deadline’: Blinken

For Afghans who worked alongside the U.S. who wanted to leave but weren’t able to get out, the U.S. would continue to try to help them, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in remarks Monday evening.

“Our commitment to them has no deadline,” he said.

To that end, he thanked Qatar and Turkey for trying to make the Kabul airport operational soon, allowing safe passage to these people.

“This would enable a small number of daily charter flights, which is a key for anyone who wants to depart from Afghanistan moving forward,” Blinken said. “We’re also working to identify ways to support Americans, legal permanent residents and Afghans who have worked with us to depart via land routes.”

But he tempered expectations.

“We have no illusion that any of this will be easy,” Blinken said. “Or rapid. This will be an entirely different phase from the evacuation that just concluded. It will take time to work through a new set of challenges.”

Aug 30, 5:01 pm
Number of Americans left in Afghanistan in the ‘low 100s’

There are still Americans left in Afghanistan that the United States is trying to get out of the country, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said.

“I believe our Department of State is going to work very hard to allow any American citizens that are left, and we think the citizens that were not brought outnumber in the low — very low 100s,” McKenzie said. “I believe that we’re going to be able to get those people out.”

There were no evacuees left at the airport when the last U.S. flight left, he said.

McKenzie also said the U.S. would also “negotiate very hard, and very aggressively, to get our other Afghan partners out.”

Aug 30, 4:35 pm
All US troops have departed Afghanistan: Pentagon

All U.S. troops have departed Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense, concluding America’s military ground presence there and its longest war.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, made the announcement from the headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, after being introduced in the Pentagon Briefing Room by press secretary John Kirby.

Acknowledging that the withdrawal has been completed, McKenzie said the last U.S. military plane has cleared Afghan airspace.

He said that the U.S. military’s 20-year mission in Afghanistan is over.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.