The U.S. Air Force revealed that five individuals who boarded an evacuation flight out of Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in August intended to hijack the plane but U.S. forces were able to prevent the situation from happening.
The Air Force said in a statement, “As a steady stream of C-17s entered HKIA, PRTF personnel started tracking military and commercial flights into HKIA. ‘The data they were tracking was pivotal to managing airflow/airspace and requests for additional airlift support based on the numbers they got through the gates,’ [Lt. Col. Brian Desautels] said. On one occasion after they received an intel tip, five people onboard one of the commercial flights intended to hijack the aircraft. ‘Our team worked to get them clear of the NATO ramp, relocated to the north side away from friendly forces, then ultimately onto the south side where the situation was handled,’ he said.”
The Air Force also addressed the ISIS attack on the HKIA that killed 13 U.S. servicemembers.
“The sewage alley near Abbey Gate was packed with over 10,000 people when it was bombed around 6 p.m. local time. The terrorists then engaged with small arms fire.… Eleven Marines, one Navy corpsman and one Soldier were killed in the attack,” the statement said. “Seventeen service members were wounded and received care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, before being transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. One Marine was still in “serious but stable condition,” according to a U.S. Marines spokesperson, as reported Oct. 6.”
“More than a thousand service members attended the ramp ceremony of the 13 KIA at HKIA,” the statement added. “Ramp ceremonies have historically never been shown before, but this one was mistakenly uploaded and then removed on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. On social media, veterans and servicemembers shared the photos and memories of their own experiences at ramp ceremonies, as the fall of Afghanistan has been more emotional for many who have served there.”
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Taliban Holds Parade for 250 Newly Trained Soldiers with American-Made Weapons Left Behind
As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.
On Sunday, Taliban forces held a very bone-chilling parade showing off their captured American-made armored military vehicles and Russian helicopters. The act was “a display that showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army” writes CNN.
The Taliban are no longer terror insurgents fighting against American forces that had once freed Afghanistan from the Taliban. As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.
The parade was part of a graduation for 250 newly trained Taliban soldiers, said defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi. CNN reports, “The exercise involved dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American-made M4 assault rifles.”
Tragically, much of the weaponry taunted in the parade by Taliban forces were supplied by the United States to the American-backed government in Kabul during the past two decades. The equipment was to aid an Afghan national force and make it capable of fighting the Taliban.
As forces fled Afghanistan, some of the military equipment provided by western forces was flown into Central Asian Countries in an attempt to avoid it landing in the hands of the Taliban. It remains unclear exactly how much of what did end up in Taliban control is still operational.
American troops destroyed over 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles, as well as disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul during the frenetic evacuation. CNN reports “Taliban officials have said that pilots, mechanics and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army would be integrated into a new force, which has also started wearing conventional military uniforms in place of the traditional Afghan clothing normally worn by their fighters.”
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