A video reportedly of the Taliban taxiing a Blackhawk helicopter at the Kandahar airport is doing rounds on social media. A Russian media house handle shared that the helicopter is under the Taliban occupation who are trying to take it for a joyride, but unable to do so.
It’s no secret that the Taliban seized a major haul of US military-supplied gear when it took over Afghanistan earlier this month.— RT (@RT_com) August 25, 2021
Does anyone know if there’s an Idiot’s Guide to Flying a Blackhawk? If you’ve got a copy, the Taliban needs you. pic.twitter.com/ubYlVVoa9y
In the video, the Blackhawk can be seen crawling at the Kandahar airport, struggling to get off the ground. However, The Drive, in its report suggests that there is no confirmation if the helicopter is being flown by the Taliban.
Billions worth of weapons and vehicles under Taliban control
With the US military’s hasty withdrawal, the Taliban has gained control over the abandoned weapons and vehicles.
Reports suggest that high-grade war equipment worth up to £13 billion has been seized by the Taliban. This includes 200,000 firearms (M24 snipers and assault weapons) and 20,000 Humvees captured from the Afghan army.
The US intelligence officers now fear that the Taliban might have access to over 150 helicopters and planes, including 45 UH-60 Blackhawk choppers.
Surprisingly, out of these 45, seven Blackhawks which cost around $21million each, arrived in Afghanistan just last month.
It has also been reported that dozens of aircraft from the former Afghan military have now left the country to airports in neighbouring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Resistance fighters battling the Taliban in Panjshir and nearby provinces had stated that hundreds of members of the Afghan military had joined them with their weapons.
However, it is difficult to get an accurate count of the fly machines under the Taliban control as there is not enough publicly available data. The US government is facing wide criticism for leaving their equipment behind for the Taliban to use and sell.