Pictures published by activists on social media revealed US military equipment in Iran, which was left by the US army during its withdrawal from Afghanistan, including armored vehicles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the British Middle East Eye website said Thursday, September 2, 2021.
Kian Sharifi, BBC correspondent on Iranian politics and social networks, published in Tweet Wednesday, September 1, several photos of Humvees and other military vehicles on a highway linking the central city of Semnan and the city of Garmsar, southeast of the capital, Tehran.
Sharifi said the images came from an Iranian channel on Telegram, which speculated that the vehicles were either sold by the Taliban to Iran or confiscated from Afghan soldiers as they fled the country.
Bismillah Mohammadi, the defense minister in the collapsed Afghan government, also tweeted a picture of the equipment circulating on social networks, and referred to Iran as a “bad neighbour.”
Tehran bought it.
According to Sputnik News Agency in its Persian language, Iran allegedly purchased armored ground vehicles supplied by the United States to Afghanistan, and drones and helicopters for the Afghan army.
The Russian news agency quoted unnamed “news sources” as saying that Iran had bought the equipment for a quarter of its value, and that it might transfer the equipment to research centers to be reverse-engineered, while not revealing who sold it to Iran.
The Pentagon declined to comment on the reports, but Pentagon spokesman Major Rob Ludvik said that a significant amount of US equipment provided to Afghan security forces “is likely now in the hands of the Taliban, but this equipment is intended to combat a low-tech armed insurgency.”
“This is not the kind of equipment that would be of great strategic benefit to any power and would not pose a significant threat to US forces or to the armies of neighboring countries,” Ludwig added.
Between 2002 and 2017, the United States provided the Afghan military with an estimated $28 billion in weapons, including rifles, missiles, night-vision goggles, and even small, intelligence-gathering drones, as well as 208 aircraft, the website said.
During the evacuation of Afghanistan, the American forces destroyed some of their remaining weapons and equipment because it was likely that they would have ended up in the hands of the Taliban.
A source told Reuters that a recent US intelligence assessment believes the Taliban have captured more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including US Humvees, and as many as 40 aircraft, likely including Black Hawk helicopters, attack helicopters and drones. military.