Wednesday May 18, 2022

Afghan aircraft abroad not expected to be returned: Pentagon

By News Desk
January 20, 2022

KABUL: The United States Pentagon said that no final decision has been made about the Afghan aircraft parked in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but it is likely that these aircraft will not be returned to Afghanistan.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Tuesday at a press briefing, in response to a question on the fate of the aircraft, said “it is safe to assume” that the aircraft will not be sent back to Afghanistan. “I don’t have any update on it for you or any decision about how they will be handled. But it is safe to assume that they will not be sent into Afghanistan to be used by the Taliban,” he said. He said the US is still working toward a decision about the aircraft. Kirby’s remarks follow remarks by acting Defense Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob who on January 11th at a ceremony in Kabul called on Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to return Afghan aircraft.

“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. 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.