Taliban fighters inspected broken helicopters in a Kabul airport, now fully under the militants’ control after the U.S. withdrew its forces from Afghanistan on August 30.
A Taliban member filmed the state of the aircraft left behind by the American military, showing the choppers with smashed windows and wrecked avionics on September 2.
Marine General Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, said dozens of pieces of military equipment, vehicles, and aircraft had been ‘demilitarized’ prior to the U.S. exit, rendering them useless to Taliban soldiers.
He said: ‘It’s a complex procedure, complex and time-intensive procedure to break down those systems so we de-militarized those systems so that they’ll never be used again, and we just felt it more important to protect our forces than to bring those systems back.’
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the U.S. was ‘not overly concerned’ about the Taliban’s seizure of American weaponry.
He said: ‘They can inspect all they want, they can look at them, they can walk around, but they can’t fly them.
‘The only thing that we left operable are a couple of fire trucks and some forklifts so that the airport itself can remain more operational going forward.’