Tuesday, August 16, 2022 – Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul on Monday, August 15 as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw the US and NATO forces evacuate the war torn Islamic country.
Exactly a year ago, the hardline Islamists captured Kabul after a nationwide lightning offensive against government forces just as US-led troops were ending two decades of intervention in a 20 year conflict war that cost tens of thousands of lives.
‘It’s the day of victory and happiness for the Afghan Muslims and people. It is the day of conquest and victory of the white flag,’ government spokesman Bilal Karimi said on Twitter.
Taliban fighters could be seen brandishing American made guns, driving American made Humvee military vehicles and waving pictures of Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the terrorist Haqqani Network who also helped Al Qaeda establish.
The chaotic withdrawal of foreign forces continued until August 31, with tens of thousands of people rushing to Kabul’s airport hoping to be evacuated on any flight out of Afghanistan.
Many Taliban fighters gathered in Kabul’s Massoud Square, opposite the now-shut US embassy, where they displayed the regime’s white banners.
‘Long live the Islamic Emirate… long live independence,’ they chanted, some holding weapons while others took pictures on their mobile phones.
‘The time when we entered Kabul, and when the Americans left, those were moments of joy,’ said Hekmat, now a member of the special forces guarding the presidential palace. Back in August 2021, images of crowds storming the airport, climbing atop aircraft and some clinging to a departing US military cargo plane as it rolled down the runway aired on news bulletins around the world.