Afghanistan faces humanitarian, economic crisis as U.S. troops leave
The United States completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday as the last plane carrying troops flew out of Kabul airport. While the U.S. is still evacuating Afghan allies and civilians, the departure of its last contingent of service members marks an end to the 20 year military presence that is officially being recognized as the longest war in U.S. history.
The U.S. spent its last day of withdrawal mourning the service members that were killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport by IS-K, the Islamic State group's Afghan affiliate. The U.S. had counter attacked IS-K forces with a drone strike in Kabul, but the strike reportedly killed 10 Afghan civilians, including six children. The strike and the civilian casualties are currently under investigation.
With U.S. forces officially withdrawn from the nation, the Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan on August 15th, declared Afghanistan "fully independent". With thousands of Afghan civilians displaced or on the run from Taliban rule, the country now faces a humanitarian crisis as well as a turbulent economy. Families crowded into refugee camps and lined up to receive food and other resources donated by humanitarian aid groups.
Banks reopened in Afghanistan with restrictions placed on the amount of cash that could be withdrawn as thousands of Afghan civilians were lining up outside the bank to withdraw their money amid an uncertain future for the country.