BLACK HAWK UP: TALIBAN CHIPPER WITH US CHOPPER
KABUL: The Taliban has paraded some of the military hardware it captured during its rapid takeover of Afghanistan, as a team from Qatar landed at the trashed airport in Kabul – a first step towards getting the facility back up and running as a lifeline for aid into the country.
On Thursday (AEST), a long line of green US-made Humvees and armoured fighting vehicles drove in single file along a highway outside Kandahar – the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban – many flying white-andblack Taliban flags. A helicopter flew overhead trailing the Taliban’s standard on its side.
At least one Black Hawk helicopter has been seen flying over Kandahar, suggesting someone from the former Afghan army was at the controls as the Taliban has no trained pilots.
The Qatar Airways flight, the first to land in Kabul since the Americans withdrew, brought a team of technical experts to work on the airport, an inside source said.
The goal was to resume flights for aid, after the UN warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” in the war-ravaged country.
Talks are ongoing on who will now run the airport, which is just one of the many daunting challenges facing the Taliban as it transitions from insurgent group to governing power.