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U.S. might let Tajikistan maintain on to fleeing Afghan plane


DUSHANBE

The United States might let Tajikistan maintain on to Afghan military plane donated by the U.S. that sought shelter within the Central Asian country following the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul final August, a U.S. military commander mentioned.

U.S.-trained Afghan pilots flew dozens of military planes and helicopters to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as they fled the Islamist Taliban who took over the country as international forces withdrew.

The Taliban have demanded that the 2 countries return the plane.

U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Michael Kurilla visited Tajikistan over the weekend.

“We are grateful to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan for persevering with to safe the plane that the Afghan Air Force flew into the country final August,” he mentioned in feedback relayed by the U.S. embassy.

“The United States is working with the Tajik government to find out one of the best ways to successfully use and keep the plane,” Kurilla mentioned.

He mentioned the plane would undoubtedly not be returned to Afghanistan “as a result of they don’t belong to the Taliban”.

“Our hope is to have the ability to hand over some or all the plane to the Tajik government. I do not need a timeline on when this can happen, however we’re working exhausting to make this occur.”

The Taliban seized energy because the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year conflict launched within the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults as U.S. forces hunted al Qaeda leaders and sought to punish their Taliban hosts.

Panicked Afghans clamoured to board flights out of Kabul, fearing reprisals and a return to a harsh model of Islamic regulation that the Sunni Muslim group applied when it held energy from 1996 to 2001.

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