A video footage has emerged that shows the Taliban testing a $6 million US-made Blackhawk helicopter by taxiing it around an airfield after capturing it from one of the airbases abandoned by the U.S. forces.
The footage comes amid reports that the Taliban have now access to over 2 million firearms, thousands of Humvees and hundreds of aircraft that the U.S. donated to the Afghan army.
The Taliban is now estimated to be worth $3 trillion in terms of possessed weapons and pose a serious threat to the global security. Besides, Taliban fighters have also captured huge amount of equipment and uniforms after seizing power.
Displaying New-Found Power
The video footage appears to show the Taliban fighters taking a Blackhawk helicopter for a joy ride near Kandahar. The chopper can be seen taxed on the tarmac as the militants are unable to take it into the air.
It shows the chopper wings moving but the chopper is unable to get into the air. Two men watch the chopper complete a loop of the area, where two cars are also visible in shot. "Taliban testing a captured Afghan UH-60," the post accompanying the video read. At no point did the helicopter leave the ground.
It is not known if the ones inside the helicopter are trained to fly it. However, they seem to be enjoying the entire thing as it is now their property after the big capture.
It is not clear if the UH-60 is the same that was seized by the Taliban on August 14 when images and footage of members of the group operating the $6million piece of equipment were shared on social media.
Getting Weapon Rich
The footage has gone viral at a time when reports claim that the Taliban have made off with up to $16 billion worth of abandoned weapons and vehicles, including 200,000 firearms and 20,000 Humvees seized from the Afghan army.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 200,000 firearms, including M24 snipers and assault weapons, were donated to the Afghan army. Also, seven Blackhawk choppers, each costing around $21million each, arrived in Afghanistan last month but they all now are in possession of the Taliban.
Between 2007 and 2016, the United States gifted the Afghan security forces around 110 helicopters and 60 transport cargo airplanes, according to a Government Accountability Office report published by transparency website Openthebooks.com.
Afghan military officials fled the country in around 40 of these US-supplied aircraft in the days leading up to its fall to the Taliban. The rest seem to be in Taliban's possession now.
"We don't have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban," National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters last week.
He also said that the United States doesn't have a "clear picture" of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory could now be in the hands of the enemy.