Gen. McKenzie on the end of US military presence in Afghanistan: ‘We did not get everyone out who we wanted to get out’

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie
Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., commander of US Central Command testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April 2021
  • US Central Command said that the US evacuated all troops from Afghanistan.
  • General Kenneth McKenzie added that the US, 'did not get out everyone who we wanted to get out.'
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During a press conference on Monday, the commander of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, said that the US' evacuation mission and military presence in Afghanistan had ended and that the US "did not get everyone out that we wanted."

Gen. McKenzie said that 1,000-1,500 Afghans had been flown out of the country in the last 24 hours and in total, over the last weeks, 123,000 people had been evacuated in total. Those evacuations were conducted with a coalition of countries, he said.

"I'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan," Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said. "The end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001."

"Every single US service member is now out of Afghanistan. I can say that with 100% certainty," McKenzie added.

"We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out, but I think if we stayed another 10 days, we wouldn't have gotten everybody out who we wanted to get out," McKenzie said.

The number of American citizens left behind was in the "very low hundreds" McKenzie said. It's unclear how many Afghan allies were left behind.

"The military phase of this operation is ended," he said. "The diplomatic sequel to that will now begin."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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