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Pentagon releases picture of last US soldier to leave Afghanistan, ending 20-year war

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A picture is worth 1,000 words, the saying goes. This one from the Pentagon sums up 20 years of war.

The Defense Department released a photo of what it said was the "last American soldier to leave Afghanistan" as U.S. forces withdrew from the country ahead of President Joe Biden's Tuesday deadline.

The image, which appears to have been captured via a night vision scope, shows Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boarding a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

"In awe of our Sky Dragon Soldiers. This was an incredibly tough, pressurized mission filled with multiple complexities, with active threats the entire time. Our troops displayed grit, discipline and empathy," the XVIII Airborne Corps said in a tweet.

BLINKEN SPEECH ON AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL LOOKED LIKE 'HOSTAGE VIDEO,' FOX NEWS REPORTER SAYS

The United States charged into war in Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001, seeking to root out al Qaeda.

After being pulled out of the country, ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden, thousands of U.S. troops were sent back into Afghanistan this month to help with evacuations of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies as the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban took over.

A suicide blast outside the airport gates on Thursday, an attack for which an Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility, killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of others.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who spoke at the State Department on Monday, announced the U.S. has moved its diplomatic operations from its embassy in Afghanistan to Doha, Qatar.

He also said fewer than "200, likely closer to 100" U.S. citizens who want to leave the country remain in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal, and the administration will try to help them get out of the country.

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Tags: News, Afghanistan, National Security, Antony Blinken

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: Pentagon releases picture of last US soldier to leave Afghanistan, ending 20-year war

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