Taliban fighters have been celebrating America’s departure from Afghanistan and were captured on video checking out a previously U.S.-controlled hangar at the Kabul airport to see what was left behind.
The video, taken by a reporter who stayed behind, is jarring for several reasons—among them is that the fighters are donned in U.S. military gear.
"We're here right now with the Taliban as they enter … what was only minutes ago … an American-controlled portion of the military airport," said Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Nabih Bulos. "Now, they've taken over."
The guys in this video who look like they are dressed and armed in the latest gear like US soldiers are the Taliban - because, well, now they’re dressed and armed in the latest gear like US soldiers. Slow clap, @JoeBiden. https://t.co/R9MZq7pbKi— Mark Wallace (@wallaceme) August 31, 2021
What struck me about observing in close proximity is how difficult it is becoming – to tell a Taliban fighter and a western soldier apart – partly because of the fatigues, equipment, and the American weapons. pic.twitter.com/Gb8HzNhRw0— Marcus Yam ?? (@yamphoto) August 31, 2021
Seeing Taliban in US gear is jarring— Joe Norman (@normonics) August 30, 2021
What an embarrassment we are https://t.co/kUQqo2RsMZ
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby reportedly said the planes are inoperable.
The U.S. has said, and is reiterating this morning (Kirby just now on CNN), that the aircraft left behind were left inoperable, fwiw. "They can look all they want but they can't fly them," Kirby told CNN. https://t.co/FazQ0pby1F— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) August 31, 2021
Other reporters showed celebratory scenes as well.
Taliban fighters storm into the Kabul International Airport, wielding American supplied weapons, equipment & uniforms – after the U.S. Military have completed their withdrawal. Fighters celebrated with gunfire & chants through the night. #Afghanistan https://t.co/kyktWDxTrU pic.twitter.com/DM75FapxkB— Marcus Yam ?? (@yamphoto) August 30, 2021
What comes next for the Taliban after taking the airport? Check to see if any equipment left behind by the U.S. military is still working. Unlock gates. Find keys to forklift. Move barricades. Organize supplies. Find on-switch for lights. Secure perimeter. Catalog inventory. pic.twitter.com/8m9epjM0zk— Marcus Yam ?? (@yamphoto) August 31, 2021