Germany estimates up to 40,000 local staff for development organizations are still in Afghanistan

Following the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, images from the airport in Kabul showed members of the Taliban making their way through an abandoned hanger strewn with equipment, including helicopters, that the US left behind.

However, the equipment was demilitarized and made unusable before troops left, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.

“They can inspect all they want. They can look at them, they can walk around, but they can’t fly them. They can’t operate them. We made sure to demilitarize, to make unusable, all the gear that is at the airport — all the aircraft, all the ground vehicles. The only thing that we left operable are a couple of fire trucks and forklifts so that the airport itself can remain more operational going forward,” Kirby told CNN.

Since the departure of the last US troops from Afghanistan, the Pentagon is relieved about safely evacuating 123,000 people out of the country, but concerned about those who were left behind, he added.

“Although we don’t think the numbers are large, we are obviously concerned about our friends, allies and fellow American citizens that are still there,” he said, adding that the US government will remain mindful of its commitment to those citizens that remain behind.

“Though the military mission has ended, the United States commitment to them has not,” he said.

In the meantime, the threat in Afghanistan “remains high.”

“Obviously, we are concerned about the potential for Taliban retribution going forward,” he said Tuesday. “We certainly are mindful of the threat ISIS-K continues to pose inside Afghanistan.”

However, Kirby does not foresee the need for military involvements to get the remaining citizens and allies out.


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