Afghanistan: Taliban appear to interact with seized US guns
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The video was posted to Texan Republican Congressman and former White House Chief Medical Adviser Ronny Jackson’s Twitter feed as he shared his sheer disgust at what he saw. The footage shows fighters sharing their delight as the hauls of weapons are toyed with alongside piles of US money. The video comes as former President Donald Trump claimed the Taliban are in posession of over $84billion worth of US equipment, though experts suggest a more accurate figure is below $24billion given the spending on US equipment for the Afghan army in recent years and how much was actually left in Afghanistan.
The footage sees Taliban fighters raiding weapons stores and laying out what appears to be hundreds of aussalt rifles on the ground as they show off what they have seized.
The video then cuts to men inside a lock-up inspecting more guns and equipment and even piles of cash.
Mr Jackson furiously tweeted: “Taliban TERRORISTS survey their new U.S. weapons and show off piles of American money.
“Joe Biden left it for them and it MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL!”
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The video comes amid a debate over how much US military equipment has been seized by the Taliban since the defeat of the Afghan army in the country and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Images and video released by the Taliban show the group’s elite special forces, the “Fateh Zwak” unit, donning an array of US made weaponry, uniforms and even night vision goggles as it was reported by the Times newspaper reported the group have an estimated 16,000 of the goggles which have reportedly been plundered from positions where the Afghan army retreated from.
Other footage circulating on social media shows the elite group walking through Kabul airport and inspecting what appears to be a chinook-style helicopter. Despite the concerning scenes, the US government insist every vehicle abandoned in the country has been rendered inoperable by the Taliban.
The Times also reported that according to the US Government Accounting Office, the Taliban are now in possession of a massive 3558,000 assault rifles, 126,000 pistols, over 22,000 Humvees and 33 Blackhawk helicopters.
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The debate sparked the Washington Post newspaper to analyse the estimated value of US equipment now in Taliban hands.
They reported: “A 2017 Government Accountability Office report estimated that about 29 percent of the funds spent on the Afghan security forces between 2005 and 2016 went to equipment and transportation.
“Using that same percentage, that would mean the equipment provided to Afghan forces amounted to $24billion 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
“Of course, some of this equipment may be obsolete or destroyed — or soon may not be usable.”
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The comments come as President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday evening following the total withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in what observers and critics branded as “incomprehensible” as the President drew a bizarre analogy between Afghansitan, Osama Bin Laden and Yemen,
He said: “Remember why we went to Afghanistan in the first place? Because we were attacked by Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in 2001 and they were based in Afghanistan.
“I respectfully suggest you ask yourself this question: if we had been attacked on September 11th 2001 from Yemen instead of Afghanistan – would we have ever gone to war in Afghanistan?”
Mr Biden claimed the troop withdrawal from Kabul that left 13 US service members dead was an “extraordinary success”, blamed Donald Trump for making the Taliban their “strongest” since 2001 and claimed the operation to evacuate Afghanistan couldn’t have been done in a “more orderly manner”.
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