According to video reporting by Al Jazeera, the Taliban is disappointed that much of the equipment abandoned by American forces is now completely unusable. U.S. troops ‘demilitarized’ 73 individual aircraft before their departure, according to CENTCOM commander Gen. Frank McKenzie.
Some planes and helicopters had their propellers and guns removed. Other aircraft were stripped of their wheels, left with their fuselages hugging the tarmac.
Equipment turned junk
This condition was apparently unexpected, disappointing the Taliban forces who felt entitled to the aircraft. The reporter also said that the Taliban “expected the Americans to leave helicopters like this in one piece for their use.”
In the video the journalist claimed that, after intense celebrations following the withdrawal of United States’ and Allied forces, the Taliban felt “betrayed” by the condition of equipment left behind. Most of the aircraft and other treasures abandoned at the airport previously belonged to the Afghan National Army.
— CNN (@CNN) September 1, 2021
When asked “Why do you think that the Americans would have left everything operational for you?” the Taliban replied, “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 Taliban spoke on the condition of equipment left behind, as they began to clean up the mess that remains at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Apparently, the group plans to open the commercial side up in the coming days in order to allow those with visas to continue to leave the country.
According to a U.S. government inspection of the Afghan Air Force’s inventory on June 30, the group was operating 167 aircraft prior to the fall of Kabul. This total indicates that Taliban forces acquired as many as 48 functioning aircraft following the withdrawal deadline.