A Taliban combat unit called the Badri Battalion 313 was spotted patrolling Afghanistan with US-made equipment and posted a photo that appeared to mock the iconic The Second World War photo, Raising the flag on Iwo Jima.
Propaganda videos posted this week on Taliban-affiliated channels show soldiers from the little-known Badri 313 Battalion carrying US-made weapons and equipment that appear to have been stolen from Allied servicemen on patrols in some parts of Acceptance.
In a propaganda photo, members of Badri Battalion 313 are seen hoisting a Flag of the Taliban in the same way to the six US Marines who hoisted the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
“It was only recently revealed, it was a militia, a Taliban special operations unit that is deployed not only in Kabul but also elsewhere that provided a completely different picture. No longer just the sons of farmers and herders, a motley group of religious terrorists, but a special operations group comparable, perhaps, to the best in the world, ”said Shiv Aroor, editor and TV presenter at India Today, in a news segment this week.
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The Badri 313 special unit differs from typical Taliban fighters because it is designed to look more like American soldiers, complete with camouflage, combat boots and a bulletproof vest. They also carry M4 rifles and drive armored Humvees, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group reported.
“With the Taliban now in power, there is every reason to believe that the militia could grow stronger,” Aroor added. “Expect to see a lot more of Badri 313 in the coming weeks and months. “
Eurasia Group chairman and founder Ian Bremmer also posted a photo of Taliban fighters “with their new American gear” on Twitter on Saturday morning.
The United States has given Afghan forces approximately $ 28 billion in armament between 2002 and 2017. But now, “whatever was not destroyed now belongs to the Taliban,” said one US official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.
The seizure of American weapons, such as advanced planes, serves as a propaganda tool, because the insurgents are unable to use the plane without training.
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“When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weapons, it’s kind of a status symbol. It’s a psychological victory, ”Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy, told The Hill.
“Obviously, this is an indictment against the US enterprise for security cooperation at large,” he added. “This should really raise a lot of concerns about the larger business going on every day, be it in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia. “
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that “we obviously don’t have a full picture of where every piece of defense material has gone.”
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“But certainly a good part fell into the hands of the Taliban,” he continued. “And of course, we don’t have the feeling that they’ll hand it over to us easily at the airport. “