An elite Taliban unit released propaganda images this week, including one mocking the iconic World War Two photo of U.S. Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima. In the propaganda image, the Taliban fighters are shown raising their flag while wearing what appears to be U.S. and U.S. ally-made military gear.
“The Taliban’s Badri 313 Battalion released a collection of propaganda footage this past week,” the Daily Mail reported Sunday. “Among the collection was the recreation of the famed 1945 World War II picture of soldiers raising the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima”
The propaganda shows a group of Taliban soldiers from the Badri 313 special unit raising the Taliban flag to mirror the World War Two image:
Taliban soldiers MOCK iconic World War II image of American Marines raising flag on Iwo Jima as soldiers don US military gear in propaganda footage
— Beatrice Cardenas (@RealBetyCardens) August 21, 2021
In another propaganda stunt, Taliban fighters are seen below in a photo eating ice cream to mock President Joe Biden’s ice cream appetite:
— Abdulhaq Omeri (@AbdulhaqOmeri) August 17, 2021
The use of memes has increased recently among the Taliban, as they attempt to inflict insult to injury upon Biden’s failed evacuation of between 10,000 to 40,000 American citizens. Since the collapse, only 2,500 have been evacuated. Kabul has been in the Taliban’s hands since Sunday.
Fox News reported the Taliban in the meme are “carrying U.S. and U.S. ally-made weapons”:
The Badri 313 special unit differs from typical Taliban fighters as they are made to look more like U.S. soldiers, with camouflage, combat boots, and body armor. They also carry M4 carbines and drive armored Humvees, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group reported.
The U.S. gave Afghan forces an estimated $28 billion in weaponry between 2002 and 2017. But now, “everything that hasn’t been destroyed is the Taliban’s now,” a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
From 2003-2019, the American taxpayer sent the following to Afghanistan: 75,898 vehicles 599,690 weapons, 162,643 pieces of communications equipment, 208 aircraft, 6,191 pieces of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment, 7,035 machine guns, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs, 1,394 grenade launchers.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 21, 2021
Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Saturday is warning Americans to “avoid” the Kabul airport because of “security threats outside the gates,” where reports have surfaced that the Taliban are confiscating U.S. passports and physically harming Americans. “Go back to your home, or I will shoot you,” a Taliban fighter told one man, “according to a person who witnessed the encounter.”
“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport,” the embassy alerted on their website, “we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.”
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø
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