The Taliban have showed off containers full of weapons and military hardware seized from the Afghan military as American forces withdraw from the country and the militants march across the coun-try.
The weaponry includes 900 guns, 30 light tactical vehicles and 20 army pickup trucks, according to NBC News’ U.K.
partner Sky News, which was granted access to the Sultan Khil military base in the Wardak province close to the Afghan capital, Kabul.
District after district has fallen to the Taliban. The militants have seized 120 districts since May 1, according to an ongoing assessment by the Long War Journal.
The map is a moving patchwork, but at last count the Taliban controlled 193 districts and contested 130, while 75 were under the control of the government or are undetermined, according to the publication, which reports on the global war on terror and is a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish Washington think tank.
At the same time, many military outposts have been surrendered without a fight, allowing the Taliban to seize weapons, according to multiple Afghan mili-tary and government sources.
Sky News filmed fighters carrying new weapons seized from the base, where a white flag signifying the Taliban takeover was flying.
Walking around wooden boxes full of munitions — some still wrapped in plastic and Styrofoam — Taliban commander Mutman Ehsanulla told Alex Crawford of Sky News that the seizure had won them a slew of new weapons that could be used on the battlefield.
Still, he repeated a Taliban talking point that it isn’t the militants who are behind a re-cent upsurge in violence.
“All people want peace here,” Ehsanulla said. “But the government doesn’t want peace with us.”—NBC News