Taliban celebrate withdrawal of last US soldiers |

Kabul (AP) – The man filming the scene at the Kabul airport is excited. “Maulawi Sahib, how are you feeling? he asks another man who crosses the field between several armed men.

But the men all speak at the same time. Taliban fighters can be heard congratulating each other on Tuesday morning (local time). Gunshots can also be heard. Maulawi Sahib finally said to the camera: “Please, dear Mujahedin, don’t shoot, celebrate otherwise! Pray or be happy! “

Shortly before the man’s words of warning, the skies over Kabul calmed down. For about two weeks, the noise was deafening – military planes had entered and left the airport in the Afghan capital, fighter jets swept through the city, and helicopters rocked like shuttles. At midnight local time everything seemed to be over. Shortly before, the last American soldiers had left the airport in large military planes – and the United States ended its military operation in Afghanistan after nearly 20 years.

Your departure clears the way for Maulawi Sahib and other Taliban fighters warning to enter the airport area, which they immediately explore. A Los Angeles Times reporter stumbled upon an aircraft hangar in the military section with several fighters from a Taliban special unit. Video shows men inspecting several Chinook helicopters – they look like American soldiers. But it was the Taliban who took a lot of the booty in their military conquest of the country – so much so that they can hardly be distinguished from American soldiers in terms of equipment.

Maulawi Sahib’s demand not to shoot in the air to celebrate the victory over the US superpower seems to have been drowned in general excitement. “You must have been crossing for two hours,” Omid, an entrepreneur from Kabul, told the German news agency over the phone. Joy shots are not uncommon in Kabul, with people shooting when celebrating a wedding, having a son born, or an Afghan mixed martial arts fighter winning a competition. “But I’ve never seen anything like it.”

How does he feel now after the Americans leave? The question infuriates the 41-year-old. “It was the stupidest evacuation operation that ever existed,” he says. “They only brought out their own citizens, then thieves and criminals out of the country, and we, those with permits, are still sitting here,” he growls. But what does the withdrawal of the last American soldier after 20 years in his country mean to him? “I feel helpless,” said Omid after a long pause. “I just want to leave the country with dignity.”

A soldier from Pandjir province also answered the phone in a weak voice that he could not answer this question. “I can’t take care of it now. I organized two minibuses for Mazar-i-Sharif, and I don’t know yet if my family has arrived safe and sound ”. From there the family would sort of cross the border with Uzbekistan. What should the questions be on Americans now, he complains and hangs up.

The question was answered in detail by the Taliban. Anas Hakkani was the first high-ranking Islamist to speak out. “We are writing history again. The 20-year occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and NATO ended tonight. God is great. ”He is very happy to see these historic moments after 20 years of jihad, of which he is proud of the sacrifices and trials.

Taliban supporters congratulate each other on social media. “Congratulations to all”, they said, “Afghanistan is free”. Others write that the myth of American invincibility has been shattered in Afghanistan. And: “You had the clocks, but we had the time.”

Entrepreneur Omid is in despair that night: the time he used to be is now finally over. “The Taliban will now show their true face,” he is convinced. These are more violent and extremist than the Afghans have seen so far. So far, the Taliban have held back in Kabul. Since coming to power in mid-August, they have been more moderate and forgiving. But Omid expects that from now on, they won’t just search the homes of government officials and security forces. “They will soon be outside my door as well.

Omid wants to tell another episode: Friday, he left the city to go to the province around Kabul. The Taliban fighters there are completely different from those who are in the capital now. “I’m not scared quickly, but these people scared me,” says Omid. “Your eyes thirst for revenge.”

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