Home Afghanistan Taliban has terror armies with millions of pounds worth US military hardware

Taliban has terror armies with millions of pounds worth US military hardware

Taliban has terror armies with millions of pounds worth US military hardware
Taliban fighters and local residents sit over an Afghan National Army humvee along the roadside in Laghman province

There are escalating fears of ISIS suicide bomb attack among the airport crowds as Brit troops countdown to a dramatic ‘Saigon-style’, final hours escape from Kabul

London/Kabul: The Taliban has one of the World’s best-equipped terror armies with millions of pounds worth of new military hardware from the US, says report published by UK newspaper Mirror.

Report says among the incredible haul are more than two million 7.62 bullets for AK47 assault rifles, worth over a million pounds – plus military vehicles. They have A-29 light attack aircraft worth £17 million and 100,000 70mm rockets, which saturate areas with human shredding-explosions. Nearly 61,000 40mm high-explosive rounds have fallen into Taliban hands and for al-Qaeda training camps will have plenty of blank bullets. The Taliban have pilfered 4.72million 5.56 blank training cartridges – enough to put several regiments through their paces.

Meanwhile, the UK has reportedly been warned of ‘very high risk of a terrorist attack’ against the Afghanistan evacuation.

British troops have launched a final push to evacuate as many people as possible from stricken Kabul amid escalating fears of an Islamic State suicide bomb attack.

Sources say the group of most concern is an Islamic State affiliate called Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K.

In the final hours’ countdown to a dramatic “Saigon-style” evacuation soldiers are now carrying “day-sack” rations and minimal equipment in readiness to flee Kabul.

Evacuees sitting in an RCAF-C-177 Globemaster-III transport plane en-route to Canada

Senior sources have told the Daily Mirror there is a “real risk now” of Islamic State assaulting the evacuation crowds with bombs and follow-up small arms fire.

It means Britain’s 1,000-strong force of mainly paratroopers could pull out of Kabul as early as Friday and America’s soldiers may withdraw over the weekend.

Ministers have raised concern about the security threat to troops involved in the evacuation effort.

On Thursday UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab did not deny that UK forces will soon be out of Kabul – possibly as soon as Friday.

But western troops will be forced to leave behind thousands of “entitled evacuees,” facing possible massacre by Taliban once the eyes of western media and military have gone.

One British former soldier, who has been working tirelessly from the UK to rally rescue teams on the ground to help former Afghan colleagues, told the Mirror: “It is absolutely heartbreaking that we will inevitably leave these people to a terrible fate – we are trying different routes out for our friends but the situation is dire.

“It is clear that the troops will soon be pulling out. It is absolutely not their fault – these people will be left behind because of a dreadful lack of foresight by governments.

“And they will suffer appallingly just for having tried to flee Taliban rule.”

The complex military withdrawal will involve lucky final Kabul escapees boarding planes out of Kabul as 1,000 troops of 16th Air Assault Brigade take to the air themselves.

Concrete blast walls have been erected around the gates to the airport as troops prepare for a desperate Islamic State attack using multiple suicide bombers.

Afghan families boarding a plane

Already much of the UK’s military equipment has been air-lifted out of the airport complex in a desperate bid not to leave anything behind for the Taliban or ISIS to loot.

Today a former Afghan interior minister posted shocking images on Twitter of children and older people who have allegedly been killed by Taliban gunmen.

Masoud Andarabi, sacked by former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in March, said the group is “trying to rule over people by terrorizing, killing young children and elderly citizens.”

He said: “In Andarab, Taliban have been carrying out unwarranted searches of homes, capturing people without reason or justification and killing innocent citizens. “As a result, people have had to rise against their brutality to protect their lives, honor, dignity and property.”

It is believed officials back in the UK and on the ground in Kabul have stopped taking on new cases of people desperate to flee Afghanistan – except in special circumstances.

The RAF still needs to airlift out of Kabul nearly 2,000 Afghan interpreters and other staff who worked for Britain as the evacuation operation enters its final days.

They have been assessed as eligible under the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (Arap) and have passed security checks but remain on the ground, the PA news agency understands.

As well as the almost 2,000 people eligible under Arap, an unidentified number of “special cases” may be eligible for evacuation, such as LGBTQ advocates, judges and human rights activists.

Afghans outside Kabul airport
Afghans waiting for evacuation outside Kabul airport

But there are thousands who are believed still stuck in Kabul, entitled to relocation to western countries.

A staggering 38 other countries have had people lifted out of Kabul by British forces in the past week.

American airborne troops are preparing to launch a “scorched earth” program of blowing up, setting alight and dismantling any equipment they cannot airlift out.

Many vehicles will likely be torched and it is even possible, according to sources, that Apache helicopters used to protect the outgoing troops will be destroyed in the desert.

Attack helicopters like Apaches may be useful to protect outgoing troops whose defences will have to collapse back onto the airfield at some point.

A source said: “It is possible Apaches may be blown up in the desert, having protected the airfield to the last moment- the pilots then rescued by Special Forces.

“It is very likely Apaches will be used to keep the Taliban and Islamic State’s heads down during the last moments of the evacuation but they may not be able to fly the distance needed to safety.

“Some may be loaded onto transport planes but that space may be needed to evacuate 6,000 US troops out of danger as the airfield becomes increasingly vulnerable.”

The US embassy torched cars and military hardware before evacuating last week as officials were keen for no weapons or air-defence systems to fall into terrorists’ hands.

British troops could be forced to leave Afghanistan by tomorrow (FRI) so American soldiers can pack up and quit Kabul by Tuesday’s deadline.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab declined to rule out UK personnel having to leave by the end of Friday, following Joe Biden’s refusal to delay the US pullout beyond August 31.

The US President snubbed pleas by Boris Johnson and other G7 leaders to keep American troops in the capital for longer to more Afghan civilians could be evacuated.

Mr. Raab vowed the UK will use “every hour” left to evacuate people from Afghanistan and said Britain was working “as fast as we can” to maximize the number who can flee. He refused to state when the last RAF flight will leave Kabul amid suggestions the UK operation will have to end as soon as Friday.

“The military planners are working through the limited time they need to draw down their personnel and equipment and so they will firm up those details,” he told the BBC.

“We will use every hour and day we’ve got to maximize that throughput to get as many of those residual cases out.

“We’re going to keep going for every day and every hour that we’ve got left.”

US forces are already drawing down their presence at the airport so they can all be gone, with their military equipment, by Tuesday.

Today defence secretary Ben Wallace offered hope for a former Royal Marine seeking to secure the passage of 200 dogs and cats alongside his animal shelter staff out of Afghanistan.

Paul Farthing, known as Pen, founded the Nowzad shelter in Kabul after serving with the British Army in Afghanistan in the mid-2000s, with the organization rescuing dogs, cats and donkeys.

He has campaigned to have his staff and their families as well as 140 dogs and 60 cats evacuated from the country in a plan he has dubbed Operation Ark.

On Monday, a jubilant Mr. Farthing announced the UK Government had granted visas for all his staff and their dependents – totaling 68 people – but the evacuation of the shelter’s animals has remained a sticking point.

Mr. Wallace had insisted the animals would have to wait behind since the UK would prioritize the evacuation of people aboard RAF flights out of Kabul.

Nowzad supporters on Tuesday announced a privately chartered Airbus A330 – funded by donations – was on standby to fly to Kabul to rescue the group’s workers and animals.

But on Wednesday Mr. Wallace said on twitter if Mr. Farthing arrived at the airport with his staff and animals, officials would seek to facilitate their departure.

It followed a wave of support for Mr. Farthing, including from comedian Ricky Gervais who branded people who objected to the pets “stupid c…s”

He pointed out that the pets will be put in the hold of Mr. Farthing’s private chartered plane, thus not taking a seat from an evacuee.

Asked if RAF flights were going to “wrap up in the next couple of days”, former UK Chief of Defence Staff Lord David Richards said this morning: “If you’re going to hit the August 31 deadline, give or take, yes.

“It depends how much they are prepared to leave there and what they took in with them.”

He added: “I would say 48 hours, and then in some instances I have no doubt they will sneak others in who arrive late, along with their own people.”

He admitted that would “almost certainly” mean leaving people behind, adding: “That’s the position in which the West, NATO, have now got themselves sadly.”

The newly established rulers of Afghanistan have demanded that the US keep to the previously agreed withdrawal date.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said no evacuations from Afghanistan will be permitted after that deadline.

During a press conference in Kabul, he said: “August 31 is the time given and after that it’s something that is against the agreement.

“All people should be removed prior to that date.

“After that we do not allow them, it will not be allowed in our country, we will take a different stance.”

“After that we do not allow them, it will not be allowed in our country, we will take a different stance.”

According to the BBC, the Taliban’s spokesman said Afghans should not go to the airport or try to leave the country – but added that foreigners would be allowed to travel.

The news is likely to intensify the rush to get out of the country among those fearful of the Taliban’s hardline regime.

At least 20 people have reportedly been killed in Kabul’s airport chaos over the past week, primarily amid gunfire and stampedes.

U.S. and international forces in control of the site are attempting to facilitate evacuation efforts, while the Taliban has deployed fighters outside the airport.


Courtesy: Mirror, London