The Taliban celebrated the anniversary of the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan on Wednesday with a parade in front of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and in front of Bagram Air Base.
The withdrawal followed a 20-year-long insurgency against a U.S.-led NATO force and the rapid collapse of the U.S.-backed government, which fell almost immediately after the U.S. pulled its troops. The handling of the withdrawal by the Biden administration has been widely criticized and reportedly left thousands of Americans and allies trapped behind enemy lines.
U.S. forces officially withdrew from the country at one minute to midnight on August 30, 2022. The Taliban, which is still not recognized by any nation as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, declared it a national holiday, Freedom Day, and launched celebratory fireworks over the capital on Tuesday night.
This is the celebration of the Taliban tonight the withdrawal of the US last soldier from Afghanistan on 30th August 2021.
And the US also announced today that we have given $775 million to the Taliban in response to China and Russia's criticism. pic.twitter.com/EJ68KTjQsj
— Anees Ur Rehman (@JournalistAnees) August 30, 2022
Since taking power, the Taliban has reimposed harsh Sharia law on the country, forbidden women from work outside of a small number of economic sectors, banned female education past the 6th grade, and placed restrictions on internal travel. Harsh legal punishments such as stoning and mutilation have reemerged.
The parade included Taliban fighters, as well as missile launchers, tanks, helicopters, and other military equipment. The U.S. gave billions of dollars in weapons and equipment to the Afghan government, and much of that materiel fell into the hands of the Taliban when they took control of the country.