FARYAB PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN – The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops, as grisly video surfaced this week of Taliban members in June ruthlessly gunning down almost two dozen Afghan soldiers who had just surrendered due to running out of ammunition.
The video, originally obtained by CNN, shows 22 Afghan Special Forces members coming out of a building with their hands raised after a firefight that took place in the town of Dawlat Abad in Faryab province; Taliban fighters can be heard yelling, “Surrender, commandos, surrender.”
Once the Afghan commandos have been gathered together, the Taliban fighters begin shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” which translates as “God is great.” At that point during the shaky video, they opened fire repeatedly until all 22 of their unarmed prisoners had been ruthlessly killed, according to a witness.
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“The commandos were surrounded by the Taliban. Then they brought them into the middle of the street and shot them all,” they were quoted as saying of the executions.
Other witnesses claimed that the Afghan soldiers had entered Dawlat Abad two hours earlier with tanks, but eventually ran out of ammo after intense combat and were forced to give up, leaving themselves at the mercy of the terrorists.
Normally, an Afghan military operation such as this would have been carried out in conjunction with U.S. forces – including air support – but due to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan with an August 31 deadline has changed all that, essentially leaving Afghan forces on their own for the first time in years.
As the Afghanistan government has been losing territory to the insurgents amid the absence of U.S. military in the region, members of the Taliban have so far confiscated numerous weapons and vehicles from government forces that have been overwhelmed; slowly, the Taliban is taking control of the country, leading to increased worries that it could become a terrorist state once again.