Wed, 18 May 2022

Washington [US], January 19 (ANI): Afghan aircraft stationed outside the country are not expected to be returned to Kabul, according to the US Department of Defence.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Tuesday at a press briefing, in response to a question on the fate of the aircraft, said "it is safe to assume" that the aircraft will not be sent back to Afghanistan, according to Tolo News.

Pentagon said that no final decision has been made about the Afghan aircraft parked in the Central Asian Republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but it is likely that these aircraft will not be returned to Afghanistan.

Also, the Taliban have repeatedly called for the return of the aircraft that were flown out of the country when the government fell.

Further, Kirby mentioned that the aircraft will not be sent back to Afghanistan.

"I don't have any update on it for you or any decision about how they will be handled. But it is safe to assume that they will not be sent into Afghanistan to be used by the Taliban," he said.

"The US is still working toward a decision about the aircraft," he added.

Kirby's remarks follow remarks by acting Afghanistan Defense Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob who on January 11 at a ceremony in Kabul called on Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to return Afghan aircraft.

"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.

According to reports, before the fall of the former Afghanistan government, Kabul 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, according to Tolo News. (ANI)

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