Video: Man dangling from helicopter not an execution but failed Taliban flag ceremony
By Jenny Goldsberry
A video of a man dangling from a Black Hawk in Afghanistan went viral Monday. Many suspected it was an execution. Others even claimed the man was an interpreter or American citizen. However, an Afghan journalist put all rumors to rest, saying it was a living Taliban fighter attempting to hoist the Taliban flag.
Bilal Sarwary is a respected Afghan journalist who is fortunate enough to live outside the country. “Afghan pilot flying this is someone I have known over the years,” Sarwary tweeted Tuesday. “He was trained in the US and UAE, he confirmed to me that he flew the Blackhawk helicopter. Taliban fighter seen here was trying to install Taliban flag from air but it didn’t work in the end.”
As a result, Twitter began flagging the video posted by others with the warning “this media is presented out of context.”
Yet the presence of U.S. military-grade weapons has lead to deadly consequences in other instances. Sarwary tweeted reports of these weapons being exchanged between the Taliban and fighters in Gulabahar just north of Kabul. “Reports of casualties [and] fatalities on both sides,” Sarwary tweeted. “At least 4 fighters from opposition from Gulbahar killed in one location, multiple sources in Gulbahar tells me.”
According to reports, the military left a number of machinery and weaponry. Over 64,000 machine guns, 350,000 assault rifles and 126,000 pistols fell to the hands of the Taliban. Not to mention the over 22,000 humvees, 50,000 trucks, 160 tanks and more.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.