New Delhi: The Pentagon has said that no final decision has been made about the Afghan aircraft parked in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but it is likely that these aircraft will not be returned to Afghanistan, Tolo News reported.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, 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.
“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, as per the report.
He said the US is still working towards a decision about the aircraft.
Kirby’s remarks follow comments by acting Afghan 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 government, Afghanistan 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.