Conflicts & War

US destroyed 80 Afghan air force planes before withdrawal

Kabul, Oct 29 (EFE).- The United States forces in Afghanistan destroyed 80 Afghan Air Force aircrafts at Kabul Military Airport before their final departure from the country on 30 August, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said Friday.

“US forces rendered non-mission capable all former Afghan Air Force (AAF) and Special Mission Wing (SMW) aircraft that remained at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA),” SIGAR said in its quarterly report on Afghanistan, the first to be released after the collapse of the Afghan government.

In total, US forces disabled 80 aircraft and 70 armored vehicles.

As of July 31, the Afghan air force had 131 operational aircraft, including 23 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.

SIGAR stated that, before Afghan forces collapsed in the face of the rapid fundamentalist advance, Afghan military pilots moved about 25% of all aircraft to neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Possible miscalculations in the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in late August sparked fears that billions of dollars worth of military equipment, from Black Hawk helicopters to M-16 assault rifles to an A-29, had fallen into the hands of the Taliban.

The Afghan forces, consisting of some 350,000 members of the Army and Police among other bodies created in the last two decades after the U.S. invasion, disintegrated in a matter of weeks after the final withdrawal of the US and NATO countries began.

The Taliban captured Kabul, following the flight of deposed President Ashraf Ghani to the United Arab Emirates, on Aug. 15 while U.S. forces were still present at Kabul airport and the last U.S. soldier left the country on Aug. 30.

Since the Taliban seized power, the country has been plunged into an economic and humanitarian crisis, with the fundamentalists calling on the international community to release the nearly $10 billion in blocked funds for Afghanistan and to resume aid.

On Oct. 25, a United Nations report warned that nearly 23 million Afghans, more than half the population, will face one of the worst food crises in the world. EFE

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