(PresidentialInsider.com)- During its takeover of Afghanistan last summer, the Taliban stole a number of Blackhawk helicopters and other high-end military equipment.
Recent reports show that a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter manned by Taliban militants crashed in Kabul, inside the campus of the National Defense University, killing three and injuring five. The crash occurred during a training exercise, according to a statement from the group’s Ministry of Defense spokesman Enayatullah Khowarazmi.
After the Biden Administration’s botched military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the organization captured six US-made aircraft intended for the Afghan Armed Forces.
The Taliban took control of a number of U.S.-made aircraft and drones meant for the Afghan National Army (ANA) during their takeover last June. In one widely circulated video from the takeover, a number of Blackhawk helicopters could be seen in a Kandahar aircraft hangar.
According to reports, over the course of the 20-year war, the U.S. spent close to $83 billion to build up Afghanistan’s military. Most of this military hardware was abandoned without a fight, leaving the Taliban with Blackhawk Helicopters, Scan Eagle UAV drones, A-29B Super Tucanos, and MI-35s, among several other models of top-grade military vehicles and aircraft. The militant group also seized hundreds of HUMVEEs and thousands of U.S.-produced small arms.
Khowarazmi told worldwide media that the Taliban had recently repaired a number of aircraft and were flying them over Kabul in test flights. He did not confirm the exact make or country of origin, saying only that “all types of aircraft” were being tested.
It was unclear who had provided the Taliban with the technical expertise required to repair the helicopters. The group claims that a number of former ANA technicians and mechanics willfully joined the militant group’s new government after the takeover last August.
The defense ministry also said in a statement that its engineering team had recently repaired 35 tanks, 15 Humvee armored vehicles, and 20 U.S.-produced Navistar 7000 military vehicles. All of the equipment was damaged during fighting last summer.
Reports claim U.S. troops reportedly destroyed more than 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles and disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul’s airport in the Biden Administration’s botched evacuation.