Taliban asks US to return Afghan army helicopters

The Taliban regime has asked the United States to hand over helicopters that were once intended for the Afghan army. 

Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Defense Minister of the Taliban regime, which overthrew the Afghan government in August 2021, said the helicopters are “the property of the Afghans”, along with the other aircraft that were evacuated to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  

We have spoken with Americans about it and informed them that they [the helicopters – AeroTime] belong to the nation, and it is Afghanistan’s right, not someone else’s personal property. As a result, it ought to be returned to Afghanistan,” Mujahid told a press conference, according to TOLO News. 

Up to 16 Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters were procured by the US and intended for the Afghan army. However, the government was toppled by the Taliban before the deliveries could be made. 

Several of the helicopters were undergoing repairs in Ukraine at the time. In April 2022, those helicopters were given to Ukraine to be used in its defense against the Russian invasion. 

The US has also announced that it is going to allow Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to keep the aircraft that ended up there. 

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