Taliban Air: Terrorists ‘gloatingly fly captured $6million US Black Hawk helicopter over Kandahar’
A video shared online appears to show Taliban forces flying a $6million US Black Hawk helicopter over Kandahar to patrol the city.
The unverified footage shows a man hanging from a helicopter as it flies over Kandahar ahead of the US’s exit from Afghanistan.
It is feared the Taliban could have access to up to 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft the US donated to the Afghan army.
A video shared online by an account claiming to be official Taliban source appears to show Taliban forces flying a $6million US Black Hawk helicopter over Kandahar to patrol the city
It comes days after footage emerged of the Taliban testing a captured Black Hawk helicopter by taxi-ing it around an airfield.
The group also released propaganda footage of body armour-clad ‘special forces’ with night vision goggles.
In the latest post, the caption reads: ‘Our Air Force! At this time, the Islamic Emirate’s air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city.’
A second clip shared an hour later shows a Black Hawk helicopter circling overhead with the caption ‘First flight of the Black Hawk’.
Earlier this month, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitted the US doesn’t have a ‘clear picture’ of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory could now be in the hands of the enemy.
But multiple outlets have estimated the figure includes 22,000 Humvees given to Afghan forces between 2003 and 2016.
Taliban fighters have since been pictured riding atop the vehicles in Kabul.
Equipment given by US to the Afghan Army now likely to be in hands of the Taliban also includes 50,000 tactical vehicles, 1,000 mine resistant vehicles and 150 armoured personnel carriers.
Seven Black Hawk helicopters arrived in Afghanistan as late as last month
The Taliban released propaganda footage of ‘special forces’ soldiers with night vision goggles
Aircraft likely left for the Taliban to use includes over 160 planes and helicopters, including four C-130 transport aircraft, 23 A-29 Super Tucano turboprop attack aircraft, 45 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 50 MD530 choppers.
It was initially unclear if anyone in the Taliban’s ranks was qualified to fly the aircraft after a video emerged of soldiers taking a flightless joyride in the Black Hawk emerged.
The US also donated at least 200,000 firearms to the Afghan army, including M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, mortars and rocket propelled grenades.
Between 2003 and 2016, the US bought the Afghan security forces 42,000 ‘light tactical vehicles’ – such as Ford Ranger pickups and cargo trucks – 9,000 ‘medium tactical vehicles,’ and over 22,000 Humvees.
Afghan military officials are believed to have left the country in around 40 different US-supplied aircraft in the days leading up to its fall to the Taliban.
The Afghan Army also got 18 ‘intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance’ airplanes such as the PC-12, a cargo aircraft made by Swiss company Pilatus.