Taliban express their intention to build their own Air Force in Afghanistan
- A high-ranking Kabul-based Taliban intelligence official stressed that having an air force is "compulsory".
The Taliban in Afghanistan have now expressed their intention to build their own Air Force two months after capturing the country in a lightning blitz, reported news agency ANI, citing a news piece published in knewz. The Taliban also reportedly want to bolster inventory and skillset among its ranks, said the report further.
"We are trying to use the previous government's air force - the professionals that they had - and make sure they all return. The best policy for us is - whatever department is needed; we are going to have it," ANI quoted a spokesperson for the Taliban's Ministry of the Interior, Qari Saeed Khosty, as saying.
"No doubt, a full air force will be built soon - once the regime is fully established. It is not fully established yet," another person familiar with the development was quoted as saying by ANI.
Recently, three Taliban-piloted helicopters including a US Black Hawk deployed a quick reaction force at Kubal's main military hospital Sardar Dawood Khan during a suspected ISIS-K attack.
Before the Taliban seized Kabul, the Afghan Air force had more than 200 aircraft that included 167 planes, according to the June 2021 assessment by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
However, it is still unclear that how much of the equipment that the Taliban captured from the Afghan Air Force is operable. An insider said that the main focus of the Taliban is to use the aircraft only in urgent situations and not "not to waste resources", said the ANI report, citing knewz.
The Taliban had captured nine major airbases across the country including the strategic provinces of Khost, Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Herat.
According to the ANI report, the Taliban top leadership said that they are determined to become a "self-sufficient" force in view of the economic crisis gripping the country after the international community freezed the financial aid to the war-torn country.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, Enayatullah Khwaraizmi, also highlighted that it is vital for the new Afghan military to be "fully independent" and said that the external cooperation policies will still be determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the ANI report further, citing knewz.
(With agency inputs)