Afghan community

Bay Area Afghan Community Has Mixed Reactions to End of 20-Year War

NBC Universal, Inc.

All United States soldiers have now pulled out of Afghanistan, effectively ending a two-decade conflict that began not long after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

For the large Afghan population in Fremont, watching the events unfold brings mixed reactions and concern about what comes next. 

“There’s a lot of fractions in the government, in the system. I don’t blame Biden or America for finally pulling out,” said Kais Kareem, manager of the Maiwand Afghan market.

Customers going in wondered what will happen next with the Taliban in power there. 

“I hope they bring peace, security, and prosperity to the people because the [afghan people] have had enough. Like, freaking centuries of atrocities,” said Kareem.

One man, who did not want to share his name for fear the Taliban would retaliate against his loved ones still in Afghanistan said they killed close family members right in front of him when he was a boy.

“We want peace. Even the Taliban, they want to show us they mean good. But how do we believe [they’ve changed quickly]?” he said.

He wishes the U.S. would’ve stayed longer to evacuate more people.

“I’m angry, a lot of people are angry. I go crazy every day that I think about it,” he said.

The U.S. sent two decades of deployments, with the largest airlift evacuation in American history -- 123,000 flown out of the now-Taliban controlled country.

The Taliban fired celebratory gunfire as the last aircraft departed. 

The state department estimates there are fewer than 200 Americans who may still want to leave -- as well as thousands of Afghans who served alongside U.S. forces. 

"We will continue our relentless efforts to help Americans, foreign nationals and Afghans leave Afghanistan,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

NBC News reports multiple international aid organizations mobilizing to help evacuate more people are telling Afghans who want to leave to shelter in place until they have more information.

President Biden will address the nation Tuesday to mark the end of the war that cost more than 24-hundred American lives -- including 13 service members killed in a terror attack last week.

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