Turkey denies Kabul airport plans dropped
Security sources speaking to Daily Sabah denied late Monday that Turkey had dropped its plans to take control of Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“There is no such decision taken yet,” sources told Daily Sabah.
Earlier on the same day, Reuters and Bloomberg reported that Turkey had abandoned plans to take control of the Kabul airport as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and a transitional government is formed.
Turkey has offered to deploy troops at the Kabul airport after NATO withdraws and has held talks with the United States for weeks. Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has asked the U.S. and other allies to meet financial, logistical and diplomatic conditions.
U.S. President Joe Biden ordered the American military to withdraw from Afghanistan before Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the U.S. by Afghanistan-based Taliban-backed al-Qaida.
The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul while Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate their citizens amid chaos at the airport as frantic Afghans searched for a way out.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that, "The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen," after fleeing the country as the militants entered the capital virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed. The ensuing hours saw hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flood the Kabul airport.
"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office, told Qatar-based media outlet Al-Jazeera TV. "Thanks to God, the war is over in the country."
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as government forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.