Who is behind the wheels? Video shows Taliban test-driving Blackhawk helicopter
A video of a Blackhawk helicopter moving on the ground at the Kandahar airport has surfaced triggering the speculation whether the Taliban have trained pilots among them. The video, however, does not show who was controlling the helicopter and the Blackhawk, in the course of the video, does not take off the ground.
In the recent Taliban offensive in which the Afghan army was decimated and the country fell to the hands of the Taliban, the Taliban managed to seize most of the weapons, equipment left behind the Afghan forces. And many of them are what the US military gave the Afghan army. The US has earlier said that there is no perfect estimate of what all the Taliban have plundered but they might have 2,000 armoured vehicles, including US Humvees, and up to 40 aircraft potentially including UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones, in their control. And the Taliban are ostensibly showing off their loot to the world through propaganda videos, seeing which many experts have already raised the question of whether they will be able to maintain these highly sophisticated equipment.
"It's no secret that the Taliban seized a major haul of US military-supplied gear when it took over Afghanistan earlier this month. Does anyone know if there's an Idiot's Guide to Flying a Blackhawk? If you've got a copy, the Taliban needs you," Russia's state-affiliated media wrote tweeting the video.
Russia said the Taliban have captured more than 100 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, which was the backbone of the Afghan air force. But many of these helicopters might already be grounded, reports said.
But who is operating these aircraft in videos that appear on social media from time to time? A Taliban spokesperson earlier said that the Taliban will ask Afghan soldiers, pilots, to join the army as the Taliban do not have trained pilots among them.