Taliban demand Tajikistan, Uzbekistan to return Afghan aircraft

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The acting defence minister said they will not allow any country to use Afghan military aircraft that were taken out of Afghanistan…reports Asian Lite News

Taliban’s acting Defence Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid on Tuesday warned Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to return the Afghan aircraft or they will face consequences.

Speaking at a ceremony in Kabul, during which the air force held an exercise, Mujahid said the military aircraft that were taken abroad should be returned, reported Tolo News.

He warned that if the countries where the military aircraft were taken do not return them, they will face consequences. “Our aircraft that are in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan should be returned. We will not allow these aircraft to remain abroad or to be used by those countries,” he said.

The acting defence minister said they will not allow any country to use Afghan military aircraft that were taken out of Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.

The Taliban Defence Ministry said that after the collapse of the former government, over 40 helicopters were transported to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

A number of Russian-made helicopters that were inactive due to technical problems have been repaired by the Islamic Emirate and were showcased on Tuesday. “Our future air force will be dependent on no country,” the acting defence minister said, reported Tolo News.

According to reports, before the fall of the former government, Afghanistan had over 164 active military aircraft and now only 81 are in the country. The rest were taken out of Afghanistan and brought to different countries.

US persuading Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

The US has started to persuade the governments of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to allow its military bases on the territory of these Central Asian countries.

First of all, this will enable the American military to conduct special operations in Afghanistan and deliver “over-the-horizon” missile strikes there against reconnaissance targets using long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), according to Frontier Post.

Earlier, last October, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kal, during a hearing in the US Senate Armed Services Committee, hinted that, if necessary, in order to establish bases in the Central Asian region, the Pentagon would bribe the leadership of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Moscow, in turn, strongly opposes America’s military presence in Central Asia, which for Russia is important for organizing its strategic defense. The Kremlin also realizes that the penetration of radical elements from Afghanistan to the north is a serious threat to its security.

An article in the Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs proposes to find allies among the neighbouring countries in Afghanistan and organize the interaction with them and neutral territorial entities to export their collaborators from Afghanistan.

The US tends at all costs to locate bases on the territory of Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, which will host UAVs along with the infrastructure for maintenance and support, command posts, as well as special operations forces and analytical units to evaluate intelligence data and prepare recommendations for decision-making for the use of shock drones, Frontier Post reported.

Also, by having military bases in Tajikistan, the US will hope to continue its operations through Special Forces against the Taliban regime along with the help of ethnic Tajikistan based in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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