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Taliban ‘Victory Force’ Parade With US Tanks & Guns (PHOTOS)

SHAMELESS: Taliban fighters dubbed themselves the "Victory Force" in a parade of stolen US military gear as the militants have made off with up to £13billion worth of abandoned weapons and vehicles.

Pictures released by the propaganda arm of the Taliban showed their fighters from the "Badri 313" special forces unit armed with US guns and riding in US armoured vehicles.

Taliban fighters appear to treat their stolen US equipment as trophies having seized them from the retreating Afghan army as they stormed towards Kabul.

Proud to show them off, photos reveal how the militants have painted the slogan "Victorious Force" on the side of a US-made M1117 armoured transport - with that one vehicle alone being worth $800,000.

And other images show them mounted in distinctive Humvees - which are worth $220,000 each - and Ford pick-up trucks which were once used by the Afghan Army.

Taliban fighters can be seen wearing US-style military uniforms complete with helmets which appear to feature flip down night vision goggles.

Cradled in their arms are US made weapons, with most appearing to be armed with US-made M4A1 carbines - which are worth around $700 each.

Badri 313 fighters are a military unit which have been reported to be active in Kabul - and they are named after a key battle in Islamic history from 624AD.

The new "Victory Force" unit is the latest brazen taunt to the US whose muddled withdrawal from Afghanistan has been credited with handing power back to the Taliban.

The consequence of the rapid pullout led to the collapse of the Afghan army and handed billions of pounds worth of equipment to the Taliban as they raided weapons caches.

Trading in the terrorists favourite, the AK-47, Taliban fighters are now regularly seen cradling military-grade US assault weapons.

Pictures of the so-called "Victory Force" would be indistinguishable from a Western nation's military, if not for the distinctive white Taliban flags flying from their Humvees.

The US has spent an estimated £13billion arming and equipping the Afghan army since 2005 - and officials have admitted that anything which was left behind and not destroyed is now in the hands of Taliban.

They are believed to have tens of thousands of small arms, thousands or armoured vehicles, and dozens of aircraft - including helicopters and drones.

Many of these weapons were simply abandoned or even handed over as the Afghan forces collapsed - sometimes with a fight - against the advance of the Taliban.

US commanders removed planes, heavy armour and high tech equipment - but untold numbers of other gear which had been given to the Afghan army was left behind.

"Everything that hasn't been destroyed is the Taliban's now," one U.S. official told Reuters.

And it is feared some of the weapons could fall into the hands of splinter terrorist groups - such as ISIS - or even Russia and China.

Getting an exact accounting of all the weapons in Afghanistan after almost 20 years of constant war is very difficult - but according to a 2017 official US report there could be as much as:

• 208 aircraft
• 75,898 vehicles
• 599,690 weapons
• 162,643 pieces of communications tech
• 16,191 pieces of surveillance gear

Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Center for International Policy’s Security Assistance Monitor, told The Hill: "When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weaponry, it's sort of a status symbol. It's a psychological win.

"Clearly, this is an indictment of the U.S. security cooperation enterprise broadly.

"It really should raise a lot of concerns about what is the wider enterprise that is going on every single day, whether that's in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia.

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