Saturday, June 15, 2024

US denies weapons left in Afghanistan during pullout

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

The United States has firmly denied Pakistan’s claims regarding the presence of American troops’ left-behind weapons in Afghanistan before the country’s withdrawal.

During a press conference on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby unequivocally stated that the United States did not abandon any military equipment in Afghanistan that terrorist organizations could utilize.

His remarks followed statements from Pakistan’s Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar and Ambassador Masood Khan, who had expressed concerns that the weaponry left by the United States had ended up in the possession of terrorists.

On September 4, Prime Minister Kakar highlighted that American military equipment, such as night vision goggles and sophisticated firearms, posed a new challenge for Islamabad in combating militant groups operating from Afghanistan’s border regions.

At a Washington news conference, U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communication, John Kirby, affirmed that American forces had not left any military equipment unattended in Kabul before departure.

“American forces left behind no equipment,” he said in response to a question. “There was a small amount of equipment and some aircraft at the airport when we finished our evacuation efforts, but they were all rendered unusable as we left.”

Kirby said that the U.S. left a limited amount of equipment and aircraft in Kabul, which includes trucks, technical gear, and firefighting equipment, at the airport.

“The equipment that people are saying the Americans left behind, that was equipment that was transferred well before our departure to the Afghan National Security Forces,” he continued. “It belonged to the Afghan National Security Forces because that was part of the mission that our troops were involved in Afghanistan to do in the first place, which was to train up and to support Afghan national security forces as they took charge of security in their country,” he added.

When asked about reports that $7 billion worth of weapons in Afghanistan had ended up in the hands of terrorists, the National Security Council spokesman clarified that the military equipment in question had been transferred to the Afghan defence forces.

Kirby emphasized that all the military equipment was intended for the Afghan defence forces as part of the U.S. mission to strengthen their capacity and enable them to assume their country’s security responsibilities. He noted that it was the Afghan forces themselves who had abandoned this equipment.

Pakistan has long battled terrorism due to its shared border with Afghanistan.

The TTP has increased attacks on Pakistani security forces, including a recent gunbattle in Chitral near the Afghan border where militants armed with advanced weapons targeted military posts.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago was perceived as chaotic, leading to a congressional inquiry initiated by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January this year. They requested records from the U.S. Department of Defense about the withdrawal.

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