Appearing to mock the United States, the Taliban have recreated the famous image of US Marines raising the US flag at the island of Iwo Jima. The insurgent group, which overran Afghanistan in a matter of weeks, has posted the images as part of its propaganda push.
The Taliban dressed up in American military gear we left behind when we fled the country and staged their own mock Iwo Jima photo. pic.twitter.com/Akr2fQTnvq
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 21, 2021
The pictures show the Badri 313 Battalion raising the white Taliban flag. The fighters are seen wearing American tactical gear, including night-vision goggles, camouflage, and combat equipment to recreate the iconic photograph.
The original photograph was taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal on 23 May 1945. The image, taken in the final stages of the Second World War, shows six US Marines raising their country’s flag over Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The photograph won the Pulitzer the same year.
It was used in 1954 for the construction of the Marine Corps War Memorial. The memorial was dedicated to all Marines who had died in service since 1775.
The Taliban’s mockery of the photograph comes as part of renewed propaganda attempts on part of the group.
The group has released propaganda videos that show the insurgents inspecting military gear, including drones, communication equipment, firearms, and long lines of vehicles. It has also released footage that shows its members with stolen American gear and modern weaponry, including assault rifles.
The video was released on pro-Taliban channels. The Taliban said they have deployed the Badri 313 Battalion to patrol areas of Kabul. The elite unit is named after the Battle of Badr, which occurred 1,400 years ago, when Prophet Mohammad defeated the enemy with just 313 men in his army.
The chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to the Taliban being able to seize all kinds of military equipment. The group is reportedly in possession of various light aircraft and helicopters, including 35 American Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
US national security Advisor Jake Sullivan, appearing on Fox News, said the US doesn’t “have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defence materials has gone”.