A body dangled from a US military chopper, reportedly flying over Kandahar in Afghanistan, in a chilling video shared on Tuesday by several journalists and what the Taliban claims is their official handle.
The tweets surfaced online hours after the US wrapped up a messy exit from Afghanistan around midnight, with the last of its troops flying out in military aircraft.
The “Talib Times”, described in the Twitter bio as “the English language official account of Islamic Emirate Afghanistan” claimed that the chopper was “patrolling the city”, without once mentioning the body clearly hanging on a rope from the US Black Hawk.
“Our Air Force! At this time, the Islamic Emirate’s air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city,” said the tweet.
Our Air Force!
At this time, the Islamic Emirate’s air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city. pic.twitter.com/rlE6nUldZf
— Talib Times (@TalibTimes) August 30, 2021
Republican senator Ted Cruz, sharing a thread on the video, said it summed up President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan botch-up.
“This horrifying image encapsulates Joe Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe: The Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter. Tragic. Unimaginable,” Mr Cruz wrote.
This horrifying image encapsulates Joe Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe: The Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter.
Tragic. Unimaginable. https://t.co/zOvNM5UXUW
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 31, 2021
The politician shared the thread by the handle Old Holborn, a comic, who tweeted: “Taliban hanging someone from a helicopter in Kandahar.”
Many did wonder whether instead of a body it was a dummy or someone being lowered down to safety.
Any way to confirm that is a actual person and not a dummy?
— Bren ???????????????? (@BrenZ_USA) August 30, 2021
Or are they letting somebody down? It’s difficult to judge from this photo.
— Viv Jones (@vivjones10) August 30, 2021
James Melville, a freelance writer, wrote that the Taliban were using newly-acquired US equipment and weapons because of America’s disastrous exit. He did not refer to the body either.
“Meanwhile, in Afghanistan. The Taliban are reportedly now operating their recently acquired US BlackHawk helicopters. Gift wrapped to them because of a disastrous exit strategy from Joe Biden,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan.
The Taliban are reportedly now operating their recently acquired US BlackHawk helicopters.
Gift wrapped to them because of a disastrous exit strategy from Joe Biden.#Afghanistan
— James Melville ???? (@JamesMelville) August 30, 2021
The Taliban, known for brutality, torture, killings and oppressive curbs on women, has been claiming that it is nothing like it was 20 years ago. But its critics and others remain skeptical, with videos of beatings and bullying emerging from Afghanistan since the fall of Kabul.
The US says its military disabled scores of aircraft and armored vehicles as well as a high-tech rocket defense system at the Kabul airport before it left a minute before midnight on Monday.
Central Command head General Kenneth McKenzie was quoted by AFP as saying that 73 aircraft were “demilitarized,” or rendered useless, by US troops before they wrapped up the two-week evacuation.
“Those aircraft will never fly again… They’ll never be able to be operated by anyone,” he said.
“Most of them are non-mission capable to begin with. But certainly they’ll never be able to be flown again.”
The Pentagon says its troops left behind around 70 MRAP armored tactical vehicles — which can cost up to $1 million apiece — that it disabled before leaving, and 27 Humvees.