A new video appears to show Taliban members cruising around an Afghan airport in a Black Hawk helicopter — the latest evidence that the terrorist organization has acquired powerful American-made military gear amid President Joe Biden’s chaotic U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In the footage shared on Twitter on Wednesday, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter — formerly owned by the Afghan air force after – is seen taxiing around Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan in an apparent joy ride, the New York Post reported. The aircraft never leaves the ground in the video.
It is unclear exactly how many new military aircraft are now under Taliban control, but a government watchdog organization said the terrorist group has tens of thousands of vehicles and at least 208 aircraft.
“We’ve made the Taliban into a major U.S. arms dealer for the next decade,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books. “They now control 75,000 military vehicles. This is about 50,000 tactical vehicles, 20,000 Humvees they control about 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles, and even about 150 armored personnel carriers.”
The CEO said that the United States has spent over $80 billion on security forces in Afghanistan, including training and equipment, since 2001.
“We built them a pretty amazing war chest and now all of it is in the hands of the Taliban,” he continued. “We know that last month, as late as July, seven new helicopters were being delivered in the capital city of Kabul.”
Andrzejewski also said that the numbers are incomplete based on a “federal audit that detailed up to $200 million worth of drones that had disappeared. We don’t know where 600,000 weapons are within the country.”
This isn’t the first time Taliban fighters have used American military equipment to mock the U.S. Over the weekend, a Taliban unit wearing American-made gear posted a photo apparently mocking the iconic World War II photo of Marines raising the United States flag on Iwo Jima.
According to Fox News, the photo was shared on a propaganda channel linked to the Taliban fighting unit known as the Badri 313 Battalion. In the image, the unit is seen raising the Taliban flag in a manner similar to the United States Marines who raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said President Joe Biden’s administration doesn’t “have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone.”
“But certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban,” he continued. “And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”