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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

Just before the last of the US troops left Bagram Air Base, Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 strategic transport aircraft was sported flying over Iranian air space headed to Bagram Air Base near Kabul and kandahar in Afghanistan. As per the OSNIT community, three sorties over last week were performed and it was suspected that flights were used to evaluate Indian personals from the consulate that included Indian military trainers and crew that were in Afghanistan to assist the Afghan National Army and Afghan Airforce, but as per Afghan media reports that weren’t the case.

According to Afghan media reports, at the request of the Afghanistan government, India airlifted 40 tons of small arms ammunition, including 120 mm mortar to help Afghan National Army that will be used in the fight against the Taliban, who have made significant gains across the country, including in the north, an area where the extremist Islamic movement has not been strongly supported in the past.

Ammunitions to the anti-Taliban militia?

While 80% of Afghanistan is under Taliban control, not many are sure that ammunition sorties were meant for Afghan National Army, since there is an anti-Taliban militia that is gaining strength lead by Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military commander of the Northern Alliance, who fought the Taliban and U.S. forces till his assassination in 2001 is back in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

In past, India provided extensive assistance to the Northern Alliance that included uniforms, ordnance, mortars, small armaments, refurbished Kalashnikovs seized in Kashmir, combat and winter clothes, packaged food, medicines, and funds. New Delhi also helped maintain the helicopters with spares and service. Between 1996 and 1999 India gifted two Mi-8 helicopters to Northern Alliance.

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