Afghanistan is demanding the return of military aircraft from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which are in the two neighbouring countries after the chaos in Kabul in August.
The Defence Minister of Afghanistan‘s transitional government, Mohammad Yakub Mujahid, stressed that the Taliban regime would not allow aircraft and helicopters – used by the Western-backed government – to remain outside the country.
“Do not try our patience and do not force us to retaliate by any means at our disposal,” the minister said. “We endured a lot, we waited a long time“.
Moreover, he demanded that the pilots who served in the previous government‘s air force return to the country and join the Taliban‘s armed forces.
At the same public event, the head of the Taliban‘s air force, Amanuddin Mansour, said that the regime has some 50 operational aircraft at its disposal and is working to repair several others.
As the army and the previous government collapsed, dozens of air force aircraft were flown into Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by pilots trained mainly in the US.
Taliban spokesman Inamullah Samangani recently told the TOLOnews television network that talks are underway with the authorities of these countries for the return of the planes and helicopters.
Washington had spent billions of dollars to equip and train the Afghan Air Force.
Before the previous government collapsed, it had 131 operational aircraft out of 162 in its fleet, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a U. S. independent agency that reports to Congress.
In October, SIGAR reported that about 25% of the Afghan Air Force‘s aircraft were flown to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and another 80 or so were disabled at Kabul International Airport before the U. S. armed forces left.