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Pentagon says won’t deliver ex-regime’s helicopters to Taliban

AT News

KABUL: The United States Department of Defense on Tuesday announced that the helicopters of the former Afghan army would not be returned to the country so that they may not be used by the Taliban regime.

After the fall of the ex-regime, many pilots of the country’s air force flew a number of helicopters to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, the former president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also fled the country with a helicopter to Uzbekistan.

Recently, the Taliban acting defense minister Mohammad Yaqoob warned Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to return the former army’s helicopters to Afghanistan.

In the meantime, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news conference that the department is working to decide the fate of these helicopters.

Pentagon spokesman did not elaborate on the fate of the helicopters, but said: “I think it can be assumed that the helicopters will not be sent to Afghanistan to be used by the Taliban.”

“No decision has been made on the former Afghan army’s helicopters,” he said.

Furthermore, at the news conference, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was also asked about the report of SIGAR regarding the collapse of the Afghan Air Force.

John Kirby’s answer was that the data in this report relates to January 2021, and the report acknowledges the long-standing US assistance to the Afghan Air Force. According to him, the Afghan Air Force was resolutely supporting the ground forces.

The challenges posed in the SIGAR report were identified by the Department of Defense and were the focus of all US allies. In addition, the US was committed to supporting the force in light of these challenges, he added.

After the Taliban took control of the country, the Afghan Air Force quickly disintegrated. However, experts say the Afghan Air Force, which officials at the time said was running 96 percent of its operations independently, relied heavily on NATO support. According to experts, the collapse of the Afghan army had begun long before the fall of Kabul.

On the other hand, when a question was asked about the recognition of the Taliban government and army, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that it relates to the State Department, adding that the US has a consensus that the Taliban respects humans and civil rights. Moreover, he also said that the US has an important and serious responsibility in the fight against terrorism, and it has great capabilities in this regard and will use all means to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for terrorism.

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