Taliban uses US vehicles and Russian helicopters – level 3
On Sunday, Taliban forces held a military parade in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, using captured US armored vehicles and Russian helicopters.
The parade showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army.
According to a Defense Ministry spokesman, the parade celebrated the graduation of 250 new trained soldiers. The exercise involved dozens of US M117 vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried US M4 assault riffles.
The Taliban operated as insurgent fighters for two decades. When the former Western-backed government ended in August they took the large amount of weapons and equipment left behind to improve their forces. As the US troops left, they destroyed more than 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles, and they disabled the air defense.
Between 2002 and 2017, more than $28 billion worth of weapons, ammunition, vehicles and surveillance systems went to the Afghan government from the US government. The Taliban also have some aircraft; however, it is unclear how many are working.
Difficult words: force (an army or other protection), insurgent (a person who fights against a government), standing army (an army that is ready to fight), patrol (to move around an area and keep watch over it).
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