Taliban Takeover: Body dangles from US military chopper, reportedly flying over Kandahar in Afghanistan.
A body dangled from a US military chopper being flown by the Taliban, reportedly over Kandahar in Afghanistan, in a video shared on Tuesday by several journalists and what the Taliban claims is their official handle.
The video, which went viral, first surfaced on Monday, hours before the US wrapped up a messy exit from Afghanistan, with the last of its troops flying out in military aircraft around midnight. NDTV cannot confirm the authenticity of this video.
The "Talib Times" - its Twitter bio calls it "the English language official account of Islamic Emirate Afghanistan" - claimed that the chopper was "patrolling the city", without once mentioning the body hanging on a rope from the US Black Hawk.
"Our Air Force! At this time, the Islamic Emirate's air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city," said the tweet.
Republican senator Ted Cruz, sharing a thread on the video, said it summed up President Joe Biden's Afghanistan botch-up.
"This horrifying image encapsulates Joe Biden's Afghanistan catastrophe: The Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter. Tragic. Unimaginable," Mr Cruz wrote.
The politician shared the thread by the handle "Old Holborn", a comic, who tweeted: "Taliban hanging someone from a helicopter in Kandahar."
Many wondered whether "the body" was in fact a dummy or someone being lowered down to safety.
James Melville, a freelance writer, wrote that the Taliban were using newly-acquired US equipment and weapons because of America's disastrous exit. He did not refer to the body either.
However, fact-checkers said the video was that of a man suspended from the helicopter to fix a flag on a building in Kandahar. The man was not hanging but suspended with a harness, it was clarified by local journalists and media outlets.
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler called out Ted Cruz and also wrote in tweets: "Here's how things get twisted on the Internet. You know that image of the Taliban supposedly hanging someone from a BlackHawk helicopter, tweeted all over the place? Just made-up."
Soon after taking control, Taliban gained access to US aircraft and weapons, sparking global worry.
The US says its military disabled scores of aircraft and armored vehicles as well as a high-tech rocket defense system at the Kabul airport before it left on Monday night.
Central Command head General Kenneth McKenzie was quoted by AFP as saying that 73 aircraft were "demilitarized," or rendered useless, by US troops before they wrapped up the two-week evacuation.
"Those aircraft will never fly again... They'll never be able to be operated by anyone," he said.
The Pentagon says its troops left behind around 70 MRAP armored tactical vehicles -- which can cost up to $1 million apiece -- that it disabled before leaving, and 27 Humvees.