Gloating Taliban show off arsenal of brand new weapons abandoned by US as Afghan officials ‘filmed fleeing to Kabul’

GLOATING Taliban insurgents have shown off their arsenal of brand new weapons abandoned by US troops.

The group's fighters swiped shipping containers stashed full of the world's most developed weapons after American soldiers fled Afghanistan bases.

They nabbed 900 guns, 70 sniper rifles, 30 Humvees, 20 army pickups and 15 articulated military trucks – as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition – from the Sultan Khil military base in Wardak Province.

Grenades, mortars and satellite phones, with many labelled as "property of USA Government", are also piled high, just days after the Taliban captured the base.

Footage taken by Sky News shows AK47s and boxes of bullets lined up in rows alongside computers and printers in a nearby mosque.

The weapons, supplied by the US to the Afghan Army, are now ready to be used by the very group they were meant to be turned on.

One Taliban commander told the outlet: "Most of the time we don't rely on all of this. We just rely on Allah.

"But it does help us alot and it has given us a lot of new weapons we can use in battle.

"Of course we want peace, all people want peace here, but the government doesn't want peace with us."

The worrying footage comes as hundreds of American and Afghan soldiers attempt to escape Taliban forces.

The group is sweeping the country, leaving it on the verge of collapse.

US and NATO forces have now almost completely pulled out of Afghanistan.

The Bagram Air Base, which housed up to 100,000 American military personnel at one stage, now sits empty after almost 20 years.

Military officials shared photos of the sprawling base, providing a rare first glimpse of what was the epicentre of America's war to unseat the Taliban and hunt down the al-Qaida perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

Afghan looters ransacked the base swiping laptops, speakers and guitars, as well as phones, small weapons and ammunition.

Most other Western forces have also left the country ahead of the September 11 withdrawal deadline.

Even Afghan officials have been filmed fleeing to Kabul, while others have crossed the border into Tajikistan rather than fight.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon mobilised 20,000 military reservists to help bolster the border on Monday.

Other Afghan soldiers have surrendered to the Taliban, telling them: "Forgive us for we were wrongdoers."

In a video shared on Twitter, the Taliban appear to welcome the apology, hugging them and responding saying: "No problems at all, have no fear."

US General Scott Miller has warned the country is on the verge of "civil war" as Taliban militants have seized more than one third of Afghanistan.

"That should be a concern to the world," said General Miller.


Taliban forces have already seized hundreds of trucks, armoured vehicles and artillery from Afghan security forces, left by departing American forces.

In the month of June alone, the militants captured 700 vehicles to be used in their bid to regain power after being toppled by the America's 2001  invasion. 

And on top of this, it is feared the nation could become a new haven for terrorist forces wanting to strike out against the West, with The Sun Online revealing concerns new training camps could be operational by September.

Professor Anthony Glees, from the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, said the Taliban are now "back with a vengeance".

Taliban forces were first overthrown in 2001 following a US invasion – but since US President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw, the group has now gone on to seize one third of Afghanistan.

And further offensives are expected throughout the summer with warnings the jihadi forces could take the capital of Kabul within six months.

It is being described by concerned US intelligence officials as "the greatest jihadist victory since the Soviets quit in 1989".

20 years in Afghanistan – what happened?

US forces have begun a full withdrawal from Afghanistan under the orders of US President Joe Biden after spending 20 years fighting to stablise the war-torn nation.

Some 456 British soldiers and 2,420 Americans – along with hundreds of other coalition troops – died during the war which was sparked by the September 11 attacks.

And the civilian casualties are estimated to have been almost 50,000.

Codenamed Operation Enduring Freedom, the US led an invasion off Afghanistan to oust the Taliban after al-Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Centre and other US buildings in 2001.

The mission was to oust the Taliban, who were said to be harbouring terrorists and providing them a safe haven – including Osama bin Laden.

What followed was nearly 20 years of grinding conflict as the US, its allies, and the Afghan security forces staged a grinding campaign to attempt to rebuild the country and beat back the Taliban.

The Taliban had ruled most of Afghanistan following the Afghan Civil War in the 90s – sparked by the withdrawal of the Soviet Union.

Western nations had actually supported the Taliban in the 80s as the ran an insurgency against the Soviet backed regime of Mohammad Najibullah.

However, after seizing power in 1996 – the Taliban brutally ruled Afghanistan and offered a safe haven to terrorist killers like Osama.

As the US war rolled on into the 2010s, Bin Laden was killed in May, 2011, in a US special forces raid in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

And since then there has been a slow withdrawal, with British troops officially ending combat operations in October 2014.

February 2020 saw a peace deal signed between the US and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, which agreed to a withdrawal – whoever the Afghan government criticised it as being done behind "closed doors".

Taliban forces have since continued their operations and have been gaining ground – and the US continues to pull back its troops.

The war is seen as defeating the Taliban and improving the lives of the Afghan people who were once living under strict Islamic law and who now have free elections.

However, for some it is unfinished job which was mishandled – and that may 20 years on simply see a return to the dominance of the Taliban as they did pre-9/11.

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