Taliban forces held a military parade in Kabul on Sunday (November 14) using American-made armoured vehicles and Russian helicopters in an apparent bid to show off its growing military muscle.
The Taliban has operated as an insurgent force for two decades after being pushed from power by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001, but have looked to transform into a regular standing army since taking over the country in August this year.
The parade was linked to the graduation of freshly trained soldiers, a defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi told Reuters.
The exercise involved dozens of U.S. made M117 armoured security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American made-M4 assault rifles.
Khwarazmi told Reuters that 250 new recruits had graduated into service on Sunday.
Most of the weapons and equipment the Taliban forces are now using are those supplied by Washington to the American-backed government in Kabul in a bid to construct an Afghan national force capable of fighting the Taliban.
Those forces melted away with the fleeing of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani from Afghanistan – leaving the Taliban to take over major military assets.
As the U.S. troops departed, they destroyed more than 70 aircraft, dozens of armoured vehicles and disabled air defences before flying out of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai international airport following a chaotic evacuation operation.