A body dangled from a US military helicopter, which reportedly flew over Kandahar in Afghanistan, in a chilling video shared Tuesday by several journalists and what the Taliban say is their official handle.
The tweets came online hours after the US wrapped up a messy exit from Afghanistan around midnight, with the last of its troops flying in military planes.
The “Talib Times”, described in the Twitter bio as “the English-language official account of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” claimed that the helicopter was “patrolling the city”, without ever mentioning that the body was clearly on a rope belonging to the American Black Hawk hung.
“Our Air Force! At present, the Islamic Emirate’s Air Force helicopters are flying over the city of Kandahar and patrolling the city,” the tweet said.
Our Air Force!
At present, the air force helicopters of the Islamic emirate are flying over the city of Kandahar and patrolling the city. pic.twitter.com/rlE6nUldZf
— Talib Times (@TalibTimes) August 30, 2021
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who shared a thread on the video, said it sums up President Joe Biden’s failure in Afghanistan.
“This horrifying image depicts Joe Biden’s catastrophe in Afghanistan: the Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter. Tragic. Unbelievable,” Cruz wrote.
This horrifying image depicts Joe Biden’s catastrophe in Afghanistan: the Taliban hangs a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter.
Tragic. Unimaginable. https://t.co/zOvNM5UXUW
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 31, 2021
The politician shared the thread at the handle Old Holborn, a comedian, who tweeted: “Taliban hangs someone from a helicopter in Kandahar.”
Many wondered if instead of a body it was a dummy or someone being taken to safety.
Is there a way to confirm it’s a real person and not a dummy?
– Bren ???????????????? (@BrenZ_USA) August 30, 2021
Or are they abandoning someone? It’s hard to judge from this photo.
— Viv Jones (@vivjones10) August 30, 2021
James Melville, a freelance writer, wrote that the Taliban were using newly acquired American equipment and weapons because of America’s disastrous departure. He also did not refer to the body.
“Meanwhile, in Afghanistan. The Taliban are now reportedly operating their recently acquired US BlackHawk helicopters. They have been gift-wrapped due to a disastrous exit strategy by Joe Biden,” he wrote.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan.
The Taliban are reportedly now using their recently purchased US BlackHawk helicopters.
Gift wrapped due to Joe Biden’s disastrous exit strategy.#Afghanistan
-James Melville???? (@JamesMelville) August 30, 2021
Known for their brutality, torture, killings and repressive measures against women, the Taliban claim it is not what it was 20 years ago. But critics and others remain skeptical, with videos of beatings and harassment emerging from Afghanistan since the fall of Kabul.
The US says its military knocked out dozens of planes and armored vehicles, as well as a high-tech missile defense system at Kabul airport before taking off a minute before midnight on Monday.
General Kenneth McKenzie, head of Central Command, told AFP that 73 aircraft had been “demilitarized” or rendered useless by US forces before completing the two-week evacuation.
“Those planes will never fly again… They will never be able to be operated by anyone,” he said.
“Most of them are capable of non-mission to begin with. But they will certainly never be able to fly again.”
The Pentagon says its troops left behind about 70 MRAP armored tactical vehicles — which can cost up to $1 million each — which they knocked out before leaving, and 27 Humvees.