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Taliban staged military parade in Kabul using captured American-made armored vehicles

Taliban hold military parade with US-made weapons in show of strength

Taliban forces have staged a military parade in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul using captured American-made armored vehicles and Russian helicopters.

The parade was held on Sunday to mark the graduation of 250 freshly-trained Taliban soldiers, Defense Ministry Spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi said.

During the exercise, dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles drove slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead with many soldiers carrying American-made M4 assault rifles.

The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, took power again on August 15 as the US was in the middle of a chaotic troop withdrawal. The group announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7. No country has yet recognized the group’s rule.

The US completed its withdrawal in late August in what observers saw as a botched exit after a futile military adventure that lasted 20 years.

Most of the weapons and equipment the Taliban forces are now using are those supplied by Washington to the government of President Ashraf Ghani in order to form an Afghan national force capable of battling the Taliban.

However, those forces melted away following the fleeing of Ghani from Afghanistan allowing the militant group to take over major military assets.

Taliban officials have announced a plan to integrate pilots, mechanics and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army into a new force.

A late last year report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar) said from 2002 to 2017, the US government transferred to the Afghan government more than $28 billion worth of defense articles and services, including weapons, ammunition, vehicles, night-vision devices, aircraft, and surveillance systems.

Fleeing Afghan forces have transferred some of the aircraft to the neighboring Central Asian Countries, but the Taliban have taken control of the remaining aircraft.

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