Taliban PR photo mimics America’s iconic Iwo Jima image

Military unit pictured wear full sets of US equipment

White House says 'fair amount' of US weapons now in Taliban hands

A propaganda photo released by the Taliban shows members of an elite commando unit recreating an iconic World War Two image of US Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima.

The staged photo shows the special unit, called the Badri 313 Battalion, hoisting the Taliban flag while wearing head-to-toe US kit. It was part of a collection of promotional images and footage of the militants released this week.

The Badri 313 are thought to be named after the 624 CE Battle of Badr, described in the Qur’an, in which the Prophet Mohammed defeated an enemy force with an army of just 313.

Considered the Taliban’s top fighting unit, the group are reportedly highly trained and are now equipped with state-of-the-art military gear.

US officials estimate that $28 billion worth of weaponry that America gave the Afghan forces between 2002 and 2017 is now in the hands of the Taliban.

The haul is thought to include seven brand new helicopters delivered to Kabul last month, 600,000 assault rifles, 2,000 armoured vehicles, and 40 aircraft, including Black Hawks, reports the New York Post.

Pictures of Taliban fighters on the streets of Afghanistan wearing US combat gear, and carrying US weapons have been widely shared on social media this week.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: “We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban.”

‘And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport,’ he added.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in