Afghan Pilots Reportedly at ‘Top of Taliban Hit List’, Terrorists Seek to Undermine Nation’s Defence

On Thursday, President Joe Biden vowed that the US forces will pull out from Afghanistan by 31 August, stressing that the takeover of the country by the Taliban group is not “inevitable”, given that the Afghan military is better equipped and trained.

As the US and NATO forces wrap up their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban* launched an effort to track down and assassinate Afghan Air Force pilots in an effort to undermine the government’s military, reported Reuters.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was cited by the outlet as confirming on Friday that the campaign targets Afghan Air Force pilots “because all of them do bombardment against their people.”

Among those assassinated was Afghan Air Force (AAF) Major Dastagir Zamaray, confirmed the group.

Zamaray is one of seven pilots that have been killed when off-duty in recent months, two senior Afghan government officials were cited as saying, while the Afghanistan’s government has not publicly confirmed the numbers.

Pentagon spokesperson Rob Lodewick said in a statement to The Hill on Friday that the US Defense Department was aware of several Taliban-claimed killings of Afghan pilots.

He added that the Pentagon intended “to work with the Afghan government, its Ministry of Defense and our sister US government agencies on programs and processes capable of protecting those facing significant risk.”

‘Levelling Playing Field’

The deliberate killings of US- and NATO-trained Afghan military pilots by the…

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