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A U.S. Air Force transport plane lands at the Bagram Air Base on July 1, 2021. Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. military has departed Bagram Airfield, the center of its war to oust the Taliban and search for the al-Qaeda perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, AP reports, citing two U.S. officials.

The big picture: The airfield was handed over to the Afghan National Security and Defense Force entirely, a clear indication that the remaining U.S. troops have left the region or are planning departure ahead of President Biden’s promise that they would be gone by Sept. 11, per AP.

  • American troops arrived at Bagram nearly two decades ago.
  • The troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to be complete within the coming days, much earlier than the timeline that Biden had initially set for withdrawal, CNN reports.

Driving the news: The American departure from Bagram was done overnight with no coordination with local officials, per Afghanistan’s district administrator for Bagram, Darwaish Raufi.

  • Early Friday morning, dozens of looters entered the base before Afghan forces regained control.
  • "They were stopped and some have been arrested and the rest have been cleared from the base," Raufi told AP.
  • "Unfortunately the Americans left without any coordination with Bagram district officials or the governor’s office," Raufi said. "Right now our Afghan security forces are in control both inside and outside of the base."

Go deeper: Afghan president visits D.C. amid growing fears of Taliban takeover

Go deeper

Updated Sep 16, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Iowa projected to help resettle hundreds of Afghan refugees

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Iowa will help resettle between 350 to 400 Afghan refugees, according to projections provided to Axios by resettlement agencies and a state official this week.

Why it matters: President Biden's administration is processing and resettling tens of thousands of Afghans across the United States over the next several weeks — and we're starting to get a better idea of Iowa's role in the efforts.

"Justice for J6" rally underway with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: U.S. Capitol Police officers at approximately 12:40 p.m. arrested a man with a knife for a weapons violation, the agency wrote in a tweet.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.