Monday August 30, 2021 | 21:33
The US military destroyed aircraft, armored vehicles and a missile defense system before leaving Kabul airport overnight Monday through Tuesday, indicated a US high command.
US Army Central Command Chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters that soldiers “demilitarized” 73 planes before the end of the two-week airlift that evacuated civilians fleeing the Taliban regime.
“Those devices will not fly again,” he said. “They cannot be used.”
“Most were already out of service anyway,” he added. “But it is certain that they will not fly again.”
The Pentagon deployed 6,000 troops to occupy, secure and operate the Kabul airport beginning on August 14. But it left 70 antipersonnel mine-resistant MRAP armored vehicles, costing $ 1 million each, and 27 Humvees. All were disbarred, according to McKenzie.
The US military also abandoned a C-RAM missile defense system that stopped five rockets fired by the Islamic State group at the airport on Monday.
“We decided to leave those systems running until the last minute”, just before the last plane took off, the high command added.
It takes “a long and complex procedure to disassemble those systems,” he explained. “So we demilitarized them so they can’t be used again.”