(Natural News) Taliban propaganda channels are now openly mocking the West with ISIS-style videos depicting them showing off stolen American military items.
According to Fox News, propaganda videos were posted this week on channels that are linked to the Taliban showing soldiers in a fighting unit known as the Badri 313 Battalion carrying weapons and gear made by Americans and their allies that appear to have been stolen from allied militaries while their forces were patrolling Kabul.
The special commando unit is named after the battle of Badr, which the Koran says involved the Prophet Mohammed successfully defeating an enemy force with an army of just 313 men 1,400 years ago.
In one photo, Badri 313 Battalion members can be seen hoisting up a Taliban flag in a very similar way to the famous image of six U.S. marines raising an American flag in the battle of Iwo Jima on Mount Suribachi in 1945.
The special unit involved stands apart from typical Taliban fighters because they dress more like American soldiers, complete with body armor, combat boots and camouflage. According to reports from the Sinclair broadcasting group, they are also carrying M4 carbines and driving armored Humvees.
India Today Senior Editor Shiv Aroor noted the shift being seen in these special units. He stated: “This has only been recently revealed, is a militia, a special operations unit of the Taliban that is being deployed not just in Kabul but elsewhere as well that has provided a completely different picture. No more just the sons of farmers and shepherds, a ragtag bunch of religious terrorists, but a special operations group comparable, perhaps, with the best in the world.”
He added that now that the Taliban is in power, it won’t be surprising to see the militia strengthen and the Badri 313 taking on an increasingly prominent role.
Fighters decked out in American gear, holding American weapons
A different image posted to social media shows Taliban members standing near a pickup truck that is decked out in camouflage. One man is wearing camo, sunglasses and combat boots and standing in front of the truck in a stark contrast from their typical turbans, robes and AK-47s.
In other images, Taliban fighters can be seen with protective ear wear, military helmets equipped with mounts for night vision goggles, body armor, camouflage, U.S. M4 rifles and sophisticated tactical radios on their backs. In a video, the Taliban warns that their squadron will be guarding the presidential palace and the streets of Kabul.
Previously released videos show the insurgents inspecting a long line of vehicles and opening up crates filled with new firearms, military drones and communications gear.
Between 2002 and 2017, the U.S. gave Afghan forces roughly $28 billion worth of weaponry. While some of that has been destroyed, what remains is now in the Taliban’s hands, according to U.S. officials. Seizing American advanced aircraft is more of a propaganda tool than anything else because it is difficult to operate this type of aircraft without proper training. Experts say that the Taliban’s possession of American-made weaponry feels like a psychological win for them as it is seen as a status symbol.
The Biden administration is reportedly so concerned about the possession of these weapons that air strikes against bigger pieces of equipment, like helicopters, have not been ruled out, although concerns about antagonizing the Taliban while so many Americans still need to be evacuated from the country are weighing heavily.
Intelligence assessments show that the Taliban may control more than 2,000 armored vehicles at the moment. They are believed to have several American Humvees and 40 aircraft that may include UH-60 Blackhawks, ScanEagle military drones and Scout Attack helicopters in their possession.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Reuters: “We have already seen Taliban fighters armed with U.S.-made weapons they seized from the Afghan forces.
“This poses a significant threat to the United States and our allies.”
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