Taliban mocks America in a propaganda video that shows its fighters dressed up in US Army uniforms and gear

·3 min read
Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, a leader of the Taliban affiliated Haqqani network, and a U.S.-designated terrorist with a five million dollar bounty, deliver his sermon to a large congregation at the Pul-I-Khishti Mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.
Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, a leader of the Taliban affiliated Haqqani network, and a U.S.-designated terrorist with a five million dollar bounty, deliver his sermon to a large congregation at the Pul-I-Khishti Mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. Marcus Yam/Getty Images
  • The Taliban have released a propaganda video featuring its fighters wearing US uniforms and gear.

  • The insurgents have captured billions of dollars worth of US equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan soldiers.

  • Khalil Haqqani, a designated global terrorist, gave a sermon in Kabul while carrying a US assault rifle.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Taliban have released a propaganda video in which its fighters appear to be dressed in stolen US military uniforms and carrying US-made assault rifles.

The video, with a musical soundtrack, was aired on propaganda channels affiliated with the insurgent group. It said the group had deployed an elite unit called "Badri 313" to guard locations in Kabul.

-Qari Saeed Khosty (@SaeedKhosty) August 17, 2021

The uniforms and weapons brandished by the men appear to be taken from stockpiles that US special forces had provided to the Afghan army.

The insurgents can be seen wielding M4 and M-16 assault rifles, wearing bulletproof vests and helmets with night vision goggles, The Sun reported.

This is in stark contrast to the group's signature uniform of turbans, trainers, and AK-47s. 

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in a sweeping offensive that culminated in the fall of the capital city Kabul on Sunday.

The insurgents easily defeated Afghan forces, and reports suggest they have since captured billions of dollars worth of US weapons left behind by fleeing soldiers.

 

-AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 19, 2021

 

Between 2002 and 2017, the US gave Afghan forces an estimated $28 billion in weaponry.

"Everything that hasn't been destroyed is the Taliban's now," a US official told Reuters, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

On Friday, Khalil Haqqani, a senior member of Taliban splinter group the Haqqani network and a designated global terrorist with a $5 million bounty on his head, was photographed in Kabul preaching to a packed mosque while holding a US-made M-4 rifle.

He appears to be flanked by armed guards also equipped with US military gear.

Another official told Reuters that estimates suggest the Taliban control over 2,000 armored vehicles, including Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft, including UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones.

While the group will unlikely be able to operate the aircraft, the seizures will serve as a propaganda tool.

"When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weaponry, it's sort of a status symbol. It's a psychological win," Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Center for International Policy's Security Assistance Monitor, told The Hill.

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