'This is Their Real Face': Taliban Scolds US for Destroying CIA Base Outside Kabul
14:08 GMT 07.09.2021 (Updated: 13:46 GMT 06.08.2022)
Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the US had staged a covert operation in Afghanistan in August to evacuate hundreds of American nationals and about 1,000 allied Afghan commandos from Afghanistan via a secret Central Intelligence Agency compound outside Kabul.
The Taliban* has showed reporters what it calls a secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) base near the Afghan capital Kabul
, which was reportedly destroyed by the US military after the outpost was purportedly used to evacuate America nationals and allied Afghans from the nation.
The Eagle Base was ostensibly demolished on 27 August to ensure that no sensitive equipment or intelligence information would fall into the Taliban's hands.
"Taliban shows journalists the CIA's Eagle Base destroyed by Americans during the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan", this Telegram post reads.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Taliban commander Mullah Hasnain, a leader of the militant group's elite Badri 313 unit, berated the Americans for obliterating the base.
"We let them go peacefully, and look what they've left behind. Before going, they destroyed everything", Hasnain said.
He added that his fighters had kept an eagle eye on US servicemen at the compound before it was blown up.
"We were there for nine or 10 days. There were lots of explosions. We didn't stop them, even the last convoy that went by road to the airport. We didn't attack them, because we followed orders from our top officials", Hasnain stressed, referring to the US evacuation efforts.
The commander recalled that the US entered Afghanistan pledging they "would rebuild the country", and that destroying the base showed that "this is their real face, they didn't leave anything".
"We did not make war to kill Americans. We did it to free the country and restore sharia law", Hasnain concluded.
The remarks come after a New York Times probe revealed that Eagle Base — which until 2004 was home to the Salt Pit prison — was used between 15 and 27 August to assist with the US military's evacuation efforts after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in mid-August.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has, meanwhile, stated that Washington plans to organise new evacuation flights from Kabul, as the Taliban pledged to let people with travel documents depart freely.
Taliban fighters have said that they "will let people with travel documents freely depart, we will hold them to that. So will dozens of other countries. The international community is watching to see if the Taliban will deliver on their commitments", Blinken told reporters in Doha on Tuesday.
29 August 2021, 23:35 GMT
When evacuations began in August, there were around 6,000 US citizens in Afghanistan and almost all of them were evacuated, but "it is not surprising that despite the situation and encouragement, some people did not or could not make a decision" to leave, as they have been in Afghanistan for years with families, the secretary of state added.
The US wrapped up evacuations on 30 August
, a mission what was praised by Biden as an "extraordinary success". POTUS, however, was earlier slammed by Washington's NATO allies over his reluctance to extend the 31 August evacuation deadline amid the Taliban's warning of consequences if the deadline was extended
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.