On Friday, the Taliban seized control of Firoz Koh, the provincial capital of Ghor, Afghanistan, marking at least 17 Afghan provincial capitals the Taliban have seized in the span of a week. Videos and photos have surfaced on social media showing the Taliban taking over swaths of U.S.-donated military equipment that the Taliban is using to continue overtaking Afghanistan.
Taliban forces have reportedly captured around 100 U.S.-made Humvees and MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) as well as U.S. ScanEagle drones left behind and the Kunduz Airport.
The Taliban captured Kunduz Airport on Wednesday and on Thursday, German journalist Julian Röpcke tweeted, “The #Taliban not only seized appr. a hundred US humvees and (MaxxPro) MRAPs at Kunduz airport, but also several US ScanEagle drones. Billions of US tax payer $ going to Islamist extremists, thanks to the administration’s hasty withdrawal without a peace deal or follow up mission.
On Friday, CNN reported that Firoz Koh fell into Taliban control, marking at least the 17th Afghan provincial capital taken by the Taliban in the span of a week.
Al Jazeera separately reported the Taliban control 18 of the 34 Afghan provincial capitals, including Sar-e-Pul, Sheberghan, Aybak, Kunduz, Taluqan, Pul-e-Khumri, Farah, Zaranj, Faizabad, Ghazni, Herat, Kandahar, Lashkar Gah, Feruz Koh, Qala-e Naw, Pul-e-Alam, Terenkot and Qalat.
Reuters shared footage from Kandahar, including a clip of dozens of Afghan civilians standing on top of a captured Humvee.
EHA News tweeted additional pictures of abandoned U.S. equipment that has fallen into Taliban hands in recent days.
#Taliban equipped with #US-made weapons. Taliban has captured a massive stash of US-made weapons and drones as they tear towards #Kabul. The insurgents have added American howitzers and a helicopter to their inventory,” EHA News tweeted.
It is unclear how operable the cannon and helicopter EHA News reported are. The helicopter is missing its rotor and its right landing skid.
On Thursday, another Twitter user shared video of convoys of military vehicles bearing the flag of the Afghan government driving out of a crowded city center. They tweeted, “In #Kandahar, #troops are fleeing the city in tanks, and the Taliban are pursuing them.”
On Friday, another Twitter user shared video purporting to show an Afghan National Army Camp surrounded by Taliban fighters. They tweeted, “Badgias afghan army camp called liwa surrounding by taliban and waiting for surrender of afghan army #Kandahar.”
On Thursday, amid the rapid Taliban territorial gains, the Department of Defense announced it would send three U.S. infantry divisions to help evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The three infantry divisions, including two U.S. Marine divisions and a U.S. Army division, represent a total force of about 3,000 troops.