After the humiliating and hastened withdrawal of the US troops in Afghanistan, leaving behind a treasure trove of arms, military vehicles and hardware, Taliban has added insult to the injury, giving away part of the military trove to the American arch-enemy, Iran, Arab News reports.
The footage of US military vehicles convoy- worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each – being directed toward Tehran after the Taliban handed it over to Iranian authorities is the latest in the array of videos and photographs of US military equipment spotted in Iran that were shared on several social media following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan
This is another propaganda blow after the Taliban’s parades with the American kit and equipment in the Afghanistan’s capital after the US forces left Kabul on Aug. 31.
The defense and security issues writer Jonathon Kitson called the loss of these vehicles ‘huge embarrassment for the US’ that could cause them serious damage in the future if these vehicles are used to impersonate US forces in Iraq or to extract valuable technical information.
Kitson also pointed that this is reason enough to pose some serious questions of the American intelligence agencies who wrongly believed such scenario wouldn’t happen.
BBC journalist Kian Sharifi tweeted on Wednesday several photographs of Humvees and other military vehicles on the Semnan – Garmsar highway, southeast of the capital Tehran, noting the photos came from an Iranian Telegram channel.
Sharifi, who covers the issues of Iranian politics and social media, speculated the US vehicles were either sold by the Taliban to Iran, or were taken from Afghan soldiers fleeing the country.
Citing unnamed sources, Russian outlet Sputnik in Persian language reported that Iran allegedly bought US armored vehicles, UAVs and helicopters belonging to the Afghan army for a quarter of the amount they are worth and that Tehran was probably planning reverse engineering of the equipment in its research centres.
Pentagon has declined to comment on the reports though its spokesman, Army Major Rob Lodewick, has tried to downplay the seriousness of the issue, claiming the equipment Iran allegedly acquired won’t be of great strategic use to Tehran since it was provided to the Afghan security forces to fight a low-tech insurgencies and does not represent a significant threat to the militaries of neighbouring countries or the US forces.