A U.S. government official confirmed the final American flight departed Afghanistan on Monday, completing the Biden administration’s withdrawal.
"Final plane is wheels up," the official confirmed to Newsweek. "War is over." A U.S. State Department official, however, confirmed a "small number" of Americans still remain trapped in Afghanistan. The official put the number at "below 250," which only includes Americans who informed the government about intentions to leave.
The end of operations in Afghanistan occurred past midnight in Kabul on Aug. 31, the final date set by the administration for the withdrawal. War rages on for thousands of Afghans who are holding out against Taliban rule through armed resistance.
President Joe Biden saw through his controversial Aug. 31 withdrawal date even as lawmakers from both parties and Afghan allies pleaded with the White House to send troops to rescue translators, civil society leaders, and American citizens. The government has also provided no update on the status of Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran and civilian contractor kidnapped by the Taliban in January 2020.
Biden forged ahead with the withdrawal on the heels of a deadly attack from ISIS-K, an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Terrorists from the militant group killed 13 U.S. soldiers and nearly 100 Afghans at the Kabul airport. It was the bloodiest day for American troops in Afghanistan since 2011.