Ending the 20-year long occupation in Afghanistan, the USA and other NATO forces left the country on Monday. The departure sparked celebrations from the Taliban supporters in the region who paraded coffins draped with American and NATO flags in the eastern city of Khost, a day after the withdrawal of troops.
The mock funeral, in which coffins covered in French and British flags were paraded on the street, marked the end of a 20-year war and what could be construed as a hasty and humiliating exit for Washington and its NATO allies, Reuters reported.
“August 31 is our formal Freedom Day. On this day, American and NATO forces fled the country,” Taliban official Qari Saeed Khosti told local television station Zhman TV which covered the funeral.
People in the street were seeing waving Taliban’s flags and partaking in the parade as countless others recorded the procession on their mobile phones. A minute before midnight on Monday, the last U.S. soldier boarded the final flight out of Afghanistan, ending the evacuation of the 123,000 civilians from Afghanistan.
The Taliban ousted a government-backed and equipped by the USA, and captured American-made weapons and hardware left behind by the fleeing Afghan forces.
As reported by Reuters, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated that the US military is not concerned by the images of captured weapons. The departing U.S. troops destroyed more than 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles which he argued would not be accessible to the Taliban.
The troops also disabled air defenses that had thwarted an attempted Islamic State rocket attack on the eve of their departure.