Now that the last US soldier has left Afghanistan after 20 years, what US weapons are left behind at Kabul airport? And can the Taliban do something about it? Images on social media seem to suggest so, but the Americans say otherwise. All material has been “demilitarized,” said General Kenneth McKenzie.
The US military has left dozens of planes and vehicles behind at Kabul airport when it departs. Anti-aircraft guns that were used on Monday to repel a rocket attack by the Islamic State terrorist group were also left behind.
Images of the Taliban showing off their new weapons are surfacing on social media. This happens on Twitter, among other things, through the account Talib Times, which has only 3,000 followers but claims to be an official English-language channel of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The account released a video yesterday of a Black Hawk helicopter allegedly flying over Kabul.
If the images are real, it may be a helicopter that the Taliban captured from the Afghan army. “These Black Hawks were not given to the Taliban. They were given to the Afghan armed forces,” the US military said in mid-August.
According to General McKenzie, 73 planes and helicopters, 27 Humvees, and about 70 armoured fighting vehicles were left at the Kabul airport, at the cost of up to one million dollars. Los Angeles Times journalist Nabih Bulos was there when the Taliban inspected the material. He posted several videos of it on Twitter.
But can the Taliban do something with it? The Americans claim not to. General Kenneth McKenzie says it has been “demilitarized”, or disabled. “They will never be used by anyone again,” the general said.
The planes were already at the airport when the Americans started the evacuation two weeks ago and, according to the US, had already been disabled.
In mid-August, it turned out that the Taliban had obtained quite a bit of American military equipment from the Afghan security services. Jake Sullivan, the security adviser to US President Joe Biden, admitted this during a press conference at the White House. However, an exact list of where all military goods are located was not available.
The US has provided much of the military equipment for Afghan security forces for years. This was also the case with the expansion of the Afghan air force. American items that had been given to the Afghan army have now fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
Trump blew everything up
Former President Donald Trump believes the US military should have bombed its former military bases in Afghanistan. First, all American citizens and equipment should have been taken out of the country, and then you “bomb the bases to pieces,” Trump said.