DEH SABZ DISTRICT, Afghanistan (AFP) — After America’s longest warfare, Taliban commander Mullah Hasnain contemplates all that’s left of what was a part of the final CIA base — demolished buildings, destroyed automobiles and piles of ammunition.
“We allow them to go peacefully, and look what they’ve left behind,” Hasnain stated, a frontrunner of the Taliban’s elite Badri 313 unit.
Hasnain, a thick-bearded man wearing conventional brown robes with a waistcoat and black turban, surveyed the charred ruins of the sprawling complicated on the sting of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.
“Earlier than going, they destroyed the whole lot,” he advised journalists being proven the location, flanked by Taliban guards cradling American M-16 rifles and geared up with the newest navy package.
The complicated was as soon as one of the vital safe websites in Afghanistan, sited on a dusty plain close to the previous US Eagle Base camp and near Kabul airport.
After a two-week blitz of Afghanistan, the Taliban capped their extraordinary victory by sweeping into Kabul on August 15.
It could take two weeks extra earlier than the ultimate US forces flew out, ending their 20-year warfare within the nation.
A lot of explosions
Because the CIA destroyed their base, from the place they educated Afghanistan’s intelligence businesses, the Taliban watched from close by, the commander stated.
“We have been there for 9 or 10 days,” 35-year-old Hasnain stated, talking in clear English. “There have been a lot of explosions.”
“We didn’t cease them, even the final convoy that glided by street to the airport. We didn’t assault them, as a result of we adopted orders from our high officers.”
Hasnain pointed at one crater he stated had been “an ammunition warehouse”. Solely a heap of rubble and twisted steel stay.
The US detonated the munition dump on August 27, with the massive blast echoing throughout Kabul and sparking terror.
A day earlier, Islamic State-Khorasan, Afghanistan’s department of the jihadist franchise and rivals of the Taliban, had attacked crowds on the airport attempting to flee.
They killed greater than 100 Afghan civilians and 13 US troops.
Hasnain pointed to a different space, the place dozens of crates full of lots of of rockets have been piled. “Please don’t transfer the grenades,” he advised journalists.
Piles of unused ammunition lay scattered round. “We are able to nonetheless shoot with them,” he stated.
One constructing was left intact, a big video games room with billiards, desk soccer, darts and smooth velvet armchairs. Its signal nonetheless dangled outdoors — “The Snooker Membership”.
He regarded out over a car parking zone, full of the incinerated wrecks of scores of automobiles.
“We’d like the whole lot for the nation, together with weapons — we don’t have sufficient to make sure safety,” he stated.
“Now we now have to purchase them from different international locations,” he added, declining to specify which of them.
The US stated it left as little navy gear as doable behind for the Taliban, who carried out years of bloody assaults in opposition to overseas forces, Afghan troops and the civilian inhabitants.
On the close by airport, US troops disabled or destroyed scores of plane and armored automobiles, in addition to a high-tech protection system used to cease rocket assaults.
Hasnain was offended on the deliberate destruction, seeing the burned wreckage as symbolic of America’s two-decade keep.
“The US got here to Afghanistan saying that they might rebuild the nation,” he stated. “That is their actual face, they didn’t depart something.”
The Taliban nonetheless seized a significant arsenal of weapons elsewhere, in addition to from the previously US-backed authorities military, together with fleets of armored automobiles.
Ankle-deep within the ash of the burned base, Hasnain supplied a message of conciliation, echoing his Taliban superiors.
“We didn’t make warfare to kill People,” he stated. “We did it to free the nation and restore sharia regulation.”
However many in Afghanistan bear in mind the tough 1996-2001 regime when the Taliban have been beforehand in energy all too properly.
With the hardline Islamists again in cost, they’re holding their judgement to see if their pledge of a extra reasonable rule will grow to be a actuality.