A video has emerged that seems to point out Taliban fighters taking a Black Hawk helicopter on a joyride at an Afghan airport — the newest instance of how the insurgents are flaunting their newly acquired navy gear and rubbing it in America’s face.
The previous Afghan air pressure UH-60 Black Hawk is seen taxiing at an airport in Afghanistan, in accordance with the Impartial. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem to depart the bottom within the footage.
Joseph Dempsey, a analysis affiliate for protection and navy evaluation at London thinktank the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research, additionally tweeted the clip and recognized the airfield as Kandahar Airport.
The Drive famous that whereas the US-made chopper wasn’t seen leaving the bottom, it might at the least be seen as one other propaganda effort by the extremists, who’ve seized a large trove of US weapons value billions after they toppled the federal government on Aug. 14.
It stays unclear precisely what number of former Afghan navy plane are below Taliban management, although Reuters final week reported that they seized about 40 fixed-wing planes and choppers.
Specialists and observers have recognized what seemed to be at the least 4 Black Hawks below Taliban management, together with two on the Kandahar airfield, the location of a serious airbase the US turned over to the now-defunct Afghan authorities, The Drive reported.
Earlier this week, Taliban fighters had been pictured displaying off their new uniforms and equipment taken from US particular forces stockpiles offered to the Afghan military.
Members of the so-called Badri 313 Brigade have been featured within the ISIS-style propaganda footage clad in what look like US navy outfits, ditching their conventional turbans for the distinctive particular forces helmets with mounts for night-vision goggles.
In the meantime, a authorities watchdog group mentioned the US navy is abandoning 75,000 autos, 600,000 weapons and 208 plane in Afghanistan, in accordance with the Each day Wire.
“We’ve made the Taliban into a serious US arms supplier for the subsequent decade,” mentioned Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books, a US-based nonprofit group that research authorities spending, the information outlet reported.
“They now management 75,000 navy autos. That is about 50,000 tactical autos, 20,000 Humvees, they management about 1,000 mine-resistant autos, and even about 150 armored personnel carriers,” he added.
Andrzejewski mentioned the US has spent $83 billion on Afghan safety forces by coaching and tools since 2001.
“We constructed them a reasonably superb warfare chest and now all of it’s within the arms of the Taliban,” he mentioned. “We all know that final month, as late as July, seven new helicopters had been being delivered within the capital metropolis of Kabul.”
The CEO mentioned that whereas his group has been in a position to tally up tools left behind, the numbers are incomplete.
“We discovered a federal audit that detailed as much as $200 million value of drones that had disappeared,” Andrzejewski mentioned, the Each day Wire reported. “We don’t know the place 600,000 weapons are throughout the nation.”
Based on experiences, the US gave the Afghan navy about $28 billion in weaponry between 2002 and 2017 — together with seven model new helicopters delivered to Kabul only a month in the past.
The warfare chest additionally included the provision of the 600,000 infantry weapons — together with M16 assault rifles — in addition to 162,000 items of communication tools and 16,000 night-vision goggles.
In simply two years from 2017 to 2019, the US gave 7,035 machine weapons, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs and 1,394 grenade launchers, The Hill reported, citing a report final 12 months from the Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
“Every little thing that hasn’t been destroyed is the Taliban’s now,” one US official instructed Reuters, talking on the situation of anonymity.
Movies have already captured Taliban fighters triumphantly opening crates of seized weapons, together with US-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles, The Hill reported. They’ve additionally been noticed with US Humvees.
On Wednesday, greater than two dozen Republican senators demanded a “full account” of what’s been seized — and what plans are in place to get it again.
“It’s unconscionable that high-tech navy tools paid for by US taxpayers has fallen into the arms of the Taliban and their terrorist allies,” the 25 senators instructed Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin.