Trump Blasts 'Lies' About 'Disabled' Hardware as He Shares Clip of Taliban Parading US Equipment
11:06 GMT 02.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
On Tuesday, Donald Trump said Washington should demand that the Taliban* return each and every piece of American military hardware or crack down on the militant group.
Former US President Donald Trump has shared a video of the Taliban holding a military parade in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar to celebrate the end of the American troop exit from the nation.
The short clip, published on Trump's Telegram page on Thursday, showed what looked like US-made armoured vehicles, part of the American military hardware that was captured by the Taliban following its takeover of Afghanistan on 15 August.
"There is nothing disabled about the equipment that the United States gave to the Taliban. Just more made up lies!", the ex-POTUS wrote in Thursday's post.
He was apparently referring to Monday's statement by General Kenneth F. McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, who said that American troops disabled armoured vehicles, aircraft, and weapons systems that they abandoned at the Kabul Airport before the remaining American servicemen boarded the last flights out of Afghanistan.
"We demilitarised those systems so that they'll never be used again. We felt it more important to protect our forces than to bring those systems back. […] They'll never be able to be operated by anyone again", McKenzie stressed.
Chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, for his part, said the only US equipment left operable at the airport was "a couple of fire trucks and forklifts so that the airport itself can remain more operational going forward".
"[The Taliban] can inspect all they want. They can look at them, they can walk around, but they can't fly them. They can't operate them. We made sure to demilitarise, to make unusable, all the gear that is at the airport — all the aircraft, all the ground vehicles", Kirby added.
The claims came after Trump called on Washington to press Taliban fighters to immediately return the $85 billion worth of US military equipment the militant group seized after they came to power in Afghanistan on 15 August.
"If it is not handed back, we should either go in with unequivocal military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it", Trump said.
Shortly after the fall of Kabul, several videos were shared on social media appearing to show what looked like Taliban fighters posing next to UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and apparently taking a joyride in one.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.