Taliban Insurrectionists Post Photo Mocking Famous WWII Flag Raise In American Gear
A Taliban combat force known as the Badri 313 Battalion, while outfitted with U.S.-made equipment posted a picture mocking the famous World War II photograph, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.
As part of a propaganda campaign, Taliban-affiliated channels have posted videos this week showing soldiers from the little-known Badri 313 Battalion patrolling the streets of Kabul with weapons and equipment made by the United States and its allies that appear to have been stolen from allied militaries.
In one propaganda photograph, soldiers of the Badri 313 Battalion can be seen raising a Taliban flag in a manner reminiscent to the six United States Marines who hoisted the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, according to the Taliban.
“This has only been recently revealed, is a militia, a special operations unit of the Taliban that is being deployed not just in Kabul but elsewhere as well that has provided a completely different picture. No more just the sons of farmers and shepherds, a ragtag bunch of religious terrorists, but a special operations group comparable, perhaps, with the best in the world,” A news segment this week featured Shiv Aroor, a senior editor and television anchor at India Today, who shared his thoughts.
In contrast to normal Taliban militants, the Badri 313 special unit is dressed in camouflage, combat boots, and body armor, and their appearance is designed to resemble that of United States troops. They also have M4 carbines and drive military Humvees, according to a report by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
“With the Taliban now in power, there is every reason to believe the militia could grow in strength,” Aroor said further. 0Expect to see much more of the Badri 313 in the weeks and months ahead.”
Similarly, Ian Bremmer, the president and founder of Eurasia Group, shared a picture of Taliban militants “with their new American gear” on Twitter early Saturday morning.
Between 2002 and 2017, the United States provided Afghan troops with an estimated $28 billion in weapons. However, according to a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Reuters, “anything that hasn’t been destroyed is now in the hands of the Taliban.”
Because rebels are unable to operate sophisticated aircraft without prior training, the capture of American weapons, such as advanced aircraft, serves as a propaganda tool for the insurgency.
“When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weaponry, it’s sort of a status symbol. It’s a psychological win,” according to Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Center for International Policy’s Security Assistance Monitor.
“It really should raise a lot of concerns about what is the wider enterprise that is going on every single day, whether that’s in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia.”
Mr. Jake Sullivan, White House national security advisor, said on Tuesday that “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,” he continued. “And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”
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