KABUL: In a litany of financial and military aid to Afghanistan, the U.S. plans to provide up to 37 military helicopters and two attack aircrafts to bolster Afghan Air Force and its aging fleet, according to Afghan officials. Afghanistan has more than 160 helicopters and aircraft currently.
The pledge was made to the Afghan government’s high-ranking delegation led by President Ghani during their visit to Washington on Friday. Afghan officials said on Monday that the US will provide 37 Black Hawk helicopters and two A-29 Super Tucano fixed-wing attack aircrafts.
A team of 200 US contractors will also remain in Afghanistan until September to assist in maintenance of military aircraft, the US officials assured.
The donations is a part of the US President Biden’s decision to pull out American troops from Afghanistan by September 11, after 20 years of war against terrorism.
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation, who accompanied President Ghani in Washington, said a new chapter had been opened in US-Afghanistan relations.
In his meeting with the Afghan delegation, US President Joe Biden promised the Afghan leaders a continued partnership and assistance.
But Biden’s decision is one of the most consequential for the war-torn country as the Taliban have not reduced violence, and continue to take control of territories.
Despite the worsening security situation, Biden’s administration is not relenting on its decision to withdraw its troops and has agreed to leave only a residual force of 650 American troops to secure the US Embassy.