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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.’
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.