A Taliban combat unit called Badri Battalion 313 was spotted patrolling Afghanistan with US-made gear and posting a photo that appeared to poke fun at the iconic Second World War photo, raising the flag on Iwo Jima.
Propaganda videos posted this week on Taliban-affiliated channels show soldiers from the little-known Badri Battalion 313 carrying US and US-allied weapons and equipment that appear to have been stolen from Allied armies while patrolling parts of Acceptance.
In a propaganda photo, members of Badri Battalion 313 are seen lifting a Taliban flag similarly to the six US Marines who raised the US flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
“This has only been revealed recently, it is a militia, a special operations unit of the Taliban that is not only in Kabul but also in other places and that has provided a completely different picture. Not just the sons of farmers and shepherds ragtag a bunch of religious terrorists, but a special ops group comparable, perhaps, to the best in the world, ”said India Today’s senior editor and TV host, Shiv Aroor, in a news segment this week.
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The Badri 313 special unit differs from typical Taliban fighters in that they are made to look more like American soldiers, with camouflage, combat boots and bulletproof vests. They also carry M4 carbines and drive armored Humvees, reported the Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
“With the Taliban now in power, there is every reason to believe that the militia could grow stronger,” Aroor added. “Expect to see much more of the Badri 313 in the coming weeks and months.”
Eurasia Group president and founder Ian Bremmer also posted a photo of the Taliban fighters “with their new American team” on Twitter on Saturday morning.
The United States gave Afghan forces an estimated $ 28 billion in armament between 2002 and 2017. But now, “all that has not been destroyed is now the Taliban’s,” said a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Reuters said.
The seizure of American weaponry, such as advanced aircraft, Serves as a propaganda tool, since the insurgents cannot operate the aircraft without training.
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“When an armed group has American-made weapons in their hands, it is a kind of status symbol. It’s a psychological victory, ”Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy, told The Hill.
“Clearly, this is an indictment of the US security cooperation company in general,” he added. “It should really raise a lot of concerns about what is the broader company that goes on every day, whether it’s the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia.”
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that “we don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every piece of defense material has gone.”
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“But certainly a good part has fallen into the hands of the Taliban,” he continued. “And, obviously, we don’t have the feeling that they are going to deliver it to us at the airport.”