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The Taliban are “feeling angry and betrayed Wednesday” after discovering that helicopters, left by the United States military after they officially pulled out of Kabul, Afghanistan, do not work and, in some cases, were deliberately rendered inoperable before the military departed, Fox News said.
An Al Jazeera reporter spoke with Taliban fighters after they entered the formerly American side of Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), and posted a video of the event to various social media networks, said that the Taliban fighters expected the U.S. to leave their equipment in full working order, though it is not clear whether the U.S. made any such promises.
“An Al Jazeera reporter who toured a hanger on the military side of the airport said in a video that the terrorist group ‘expected the Americans to leave helicopters like this in one piece for their use,’” Fox reported.
“When I said to them, ‘why do you think that the Americans would have left everything operational for you’? They said because we believe it is a national asset and we are the government now and this could have come to great use for us,” the Al Jazeera reporter said in her video.
Photos of the equipment posted to social media, which appear to be of the helicopters and other aircraft left behind after the American withdrawal, show smashed indicators and gauges and destroyed control panels. The photos also seem to show that the U.S. military removed guns and other weapons from helicopters before leaving.
— Oun Abbas (@OunJaffery) August 31, 2021
The Washington Post noted Tuesday that, although initial reports said that the Taliban seized $85 billion in equipment left by American forces, that number accounts for all of the money expended to assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) since 2001.
Using a percentage provided by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Post reported that the “equipment provided to Afghan forces amounted to $24 billion over 20 years. The GAO said approximately 70 percent of the equipment went to the Afghan military and the rest went to the national police (part of the Interior Ministry).”
It is not clear how much of that equipment ended up in the hands of the Taliban. “With great fanfare, the Taliban has seized a number of Black Hawk helicopters, including ones that the United States had just shipped this year at the request of former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani,” the Post added, noting that the Taliban does not have many qualified pilots and that they targeted Afghan military pilots for execution before taking Kabul.
Upon leaving, CENTCOM said, “the military ‘demilitarized’ 70 MRAPs, 27 Humvees and 73 aircraft,” likely including those helicopters the Taliban is now reportedly angry about.
The final American evacuation flights departed Kabul, Afghanistan around 3:30 ET on Monday afternoon, and there is no official American military presence inside the country. Although the president, at one point, pledged to keep the American military in Kabul until all Americans who wanted to leave had been rescued, the Pentagon and State Department, as well as CENTCOM, have admitted that there are Americans trapped behind enemy lines.