The Taliban feel 'betrayed' after US disabled helicopters and planes

The Taliban feel 'betrayed' after US disabled helicopters and planes

September 2, 2021

The Taliban say they are ‘angry and disappointed’ and feel ‘betrayed’ after America left so many inoperable helicopters and planes because ‘the aircraft belong to Afghanistan’

  • US troops disabled 73 aircraft before their departure from Kabul on Monday
  • The Taliban are ‘angry’ that their ‘national assets’ are now inoperable 
  • The terror group hope to have the commercial airport running within days 

Taliban fighters have been left feeling ‘angry’ and ‘betrayed’ after discovering the US had disabled military helicopters and planes before their departure from Kabul.

US troops ‘demilitarised’ 73 aircraft before their departure this week according to the commander of the US evacuation mission, Gen. Frank McKenzie.

That left up to 48 aircraft in the hands of the terror group, although it was not known how many were operable.

But the Taliban had ‘expected the Americans to leave helicopters like this in one piece for their use’, according to an Al Jazeera reporter who toured the airport after the withdrawal.

She said: ‘When I said to them, “why do you think that the Americans would have left everything operational for you?” They said because we believe it is a national asset and we are the government now and this could have come to great use for us.’

She added: ‘They are disappointed, they are angry, they feel betrayed because all of this equipment is broken beyond repair.’

Taliban fighters have been left feeling ‘angry’ and ‘betrayed’ after discovering the US had disabled military helicopters and planes before their departure from Kabul. Pictured: a helicopter displaying a Taliban flag flies above supporters

A Taliban member looks up next to a damaged helicopter at the airport in Kabul after the US withdrawal

US troops ‘demilitarized’ 73 aircraft before their departure this week according to the commander of the US evacuation mission, Gen. Frank McKenzie

The Taliban are hoping to have the commercial side of the airport operational within days which could allow Afghans to fly out of the country on Visas.

Along with the aircraft, the US left up to 200 civilians, 70 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and 27 Humvees in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Air Force was operating 167 aircraft, including 108 helicopters and 59 planes, according to an official US government inspection on June 30. 

Before Kabul fell, Uzbekistan confirmed that 46 Afghan aircraft, including 24 helicopters, had arrived in the country in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Taliban. 

The commander of the US evacuation mission, Gen. Frank McKenzie, said American troops disabled 73 aircraft before finally leaving the country on Monday night.

The Taliban are hoping to have the commercial side of the airport operational within days which could allow Afghans to fly out of the country on Visas


A US-made $6 million UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is seen flying over a convoy of Taliban fighters on its way to join the fight against the resistance in the Panjshir Valley on Wednesday

Propellers and guns were removed from planes and helicopters, while other aircraft lay with their fuselages directly on the tarmac, having had their wheels stripped away rendering them inoperable.

That left as many as 48 aircraft seized by the Taliban, although it is unclear what the breakdown is in terms of planes and helicopters, or what condition these aircraft might be in. 

Many were built in the 1980s and will need constant servicing and parts to make sure they are airworthy, let alone capable of combat.

Over the last few months, the jihadists captured 10 major airfields from Bagram to Mazar-i-Sharif, and have taken to the skies in a $6 million Black Hawk helicopter in their fight against the resistance in the Panjshir Valley.

An A-29 attack plane is surrounded by kit left behind by western forces as they retreated from Kabul airport

A-29 attack planes which appear largely intact are seen alongside a huge amount of western body armour and tactical helmets left behind by retreating troops

Footage uploaded to social media shows Taliban fighters driving armored vehicles through Kandahar after vanquishing the US-backed Afghan National Army

Taliban chiefs are reported to have ordered their troops to hunt down pilots from the disbanded Afghan Air Force, who received expensive training from the US and its allies to fly high-tech warplanes and choppers.

Without those pilots, flying such sophisticated aircraft is near-impossible for an amateur – but several videos of airborne terrorists suggest they must have recruited some renegade wingmen.

Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul was seized on Tuesday by triumphant jihadists who were seen clambering into the cockpit of a $14 million Hercules transport jet – albeit clearly tilting over, suggesting its wheels were bust. 

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