United States Central Command head General Frank McKenzie said in a statement on Monday that the Taliban was "significantly helpful" in enabling the evacuation of Americans, Afghans and others, according to US media reports.
The United States military spent most of the past two decades fighting the Taliban, but now are adjusting to the fact that the militants have taken control of the country, according to reports from the Associated Press.
In a news conference hosted by the United States Department of Defense, McKenzie said that the Taliban is likely to face difficulty in maintaining control of Afghanistan's national capital Kabul in the coming days. The statement was made while the threat of the Islamic State, a group considered to be a nemesis of the Taliban, has carried out multiple attacks in the last week.
McKenzie says Taliban fighters in recent days have freed IS fighters from prisons, swelling their ranks to an estimated 2,000. In his words, “Now they are going to be able to reap what they sowed", according to reports from Associated Press.
The evacuation efforts of the United States military may not have been completely successful. The Pentagon, during Monday's address, admitted that "it could not evacuate as many from Kabul as hoped", according to reports from AFP.
General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command said in an announcement on Monday that the planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29 pm EDT, or one minute before midnight in Kabul, according to reports from Associated Press.
"Tonight's withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001", McKenzie said.
White House said following the Pentagon's announcement that United States President Joe Biden will address the nation on America's evacuation efforts on Tuesday afternoon. The statements are likely to include an explanation about why the United States did not extend the August 31 deadline for troop withdrawal.