Taliban leader and Afghanistan's acting Defense Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid has asked Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to return Afghan military aircraft or face consequences.
Speaking at a ceremony in Kabul on Tuesday, during which the air force held an exercise, Mujahid said the military aircraft that were taken abroad should be returned, Tolo News reported. He warned that if the countries where the military aircraft were taken do not return them, they would face consequences. But he did not spell out what those consequences would be.
"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.
The Taliban said that after the collapse of the former Afghan government, over 40 helicopters were transported to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
A number of Russian-made helicopters that were inactive due to technical problems have been repaired by the Islamic Emirate and were showcased on Tuesday. "Our future air force will be dependent on no country," the acting defense minister 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.