Taliban captures Mi-24 attack helicopter India gave to Afghan forces
As the Taliban continues its push to take over all Afghanistan teritories, the fighters have claimed that they have gained control of an attack helicopter that was gifted by India.
The Taliban claimed it had taken control of a Mi-24 attack helicopter donated by India to the Afghanistan forces. Photographs and videos emerged from Kanduz in Afghanistan showing Taliban fighters standing beside the helicopter.
But it has been discovered that the rotor blades of the attack helicopter were missing and reports have suggested that the Afghan forces may have removed them earlier in order to prevent the Taliban from using the chopper.
Back in 2019, India gifted the Mi-24 attack helicopters to the Afghan Air Force along with three Cheetah light utility helicopters. The Mi-24 helicopters were given to the Afghans as a replacement for four attack helicopters that were gifted in 2015.
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The capture of the attack helicopters by the Taliban comes at a time when the Afghanistan leadership is struggling to fight back the onslaught of the insurgents. At the moment, the Taliban has already taken control of over 65% of Afghanistan territory with more capital cities falling every day.
On Thursday it was reported that the Taliban had captured a police headquarters in a provincial capital in southern Afghanistan.
Earlier, the Taliban seized three more Afghan provincial capitals and a local army headquarters to complete a blitz across the country’s northeast, giving them control of two-thirds of the nation since the US and NATO began withdrawing their forces after a decade of war.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani is trying to rally a counteroffensive relying on his country’s special forces, the militias of warlords and American airpower ahead of the US and NATO withdrawal at the end of the month.
While the capital of Kabul itself has not been directly threatened in the advance, the stunning speed of the offensive raises questions of how long the Afghan government can maintain control of the slivers of the country it has left. The government may eventually be forced to pull back to defend the capital and just a few other cities as thousands displaced by the fighting fled to Kabul and now live in open fields and parks.