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New video shows US troops destroying vehicles before leaving Afghanistan

A row of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (M-RAP) all terrain vehicles in Kabul district, Kabul province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. James K. McCann)
September 03, 2021

A video has emerged this week of U.S. troops smashing up one of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (M-RAP) vehicles they had to abandon to the Taliban before they left Afghanistan.

In the video, a U.S. service member can be seen standing on the hood of an M-RAP, smashing in the windows with a pole. An interior view of possibly the same M-RAP shows a service member in the driver’s seat, ripping at and kicking out equipment.

EHA News tweeted, “#USA destroys or demilitarizes equipment left behind after full pullout from #Afghanistan. 70 MRAP vehicles, 27 Humvees, 73 aircraft, an unspecified number of counter-rocket, artillery, and C-RAM systems were destroyed or demilitarized the US troops.”

Later in the video, another service member can be seen smashing out a window of a minivan.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) head Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told AFP that U.S. troops “demilitarized” vehicles and aircraft they left behind at the airport, rendering them inoperable before they departed.

McKenzie said around 70 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (M-RAP) armored tactical vehicles, each costing up to $1 million, were disabled before U.S. troops left the airport. Another 27 Humvee armored vehicles were also disabled.

Footage shared by The Sun shows the windows of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were also smashed in and their tires were deflated. Inside the aircraft, various avionics displays were also shattered. One Afghan Air Force Cessna 208 Caravan was missing its entire nose and propeller.

McKenzie said U.S. left behind 73 aircraft at the Kabul airport, but said, “Those aircraft will never fly again. . . They’ll never be able to be operated by anyone. Most of them are non-mission capable to begin with. But certainly they’ll never be able to be flown again.”

McKenzie also said U.S. troops left behind multiple counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems that had helped defend the Kabul airport from rocket attacks.

The Taliban were reportedly upset by the U.S. decision to disable its aircraft and vehicles before leaving them behind at the Kabul airport.

Al Jazeera tweeted, “The Taliban were disappointed to find inoperable planes and helicopters left behind by American forces on the military side of the Kabul airport.”

While the vehicles and aircraft at the Kabul airport were sabotaged before the Taliban could get to them, Taliban fighters have frequently been seen driving around in other vehicles that the U.S. had given to the Afghan military before the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed.

Last week, the Taliban flew a Black Hawk helicopter that Afghan government forces left behind at a Kandahar airfield.

Taliban fighters have also been seen holding captured M4 and M16 service rifles and wearing western-style tactical gear.