icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
15 Aug, 2021 09:09

VIDEOS show Taliban fighters lounging in luxurious ex-home of US-backed warlord as pundits blame grift for collapse of Afghan army

VIDEOS show Taliban fighters lounging in luxurious ex-home of US-backed warlord as pundits blame grift for collapse of Afghan army

The Taliban has shown off a lavish home that belonged to Afghan army marshal and close US ally Abdul Rashid Dostum, prompting pundits to opine that the decadent abode illustrated why the country’s military had wilted so quickly.

In videos resembling an episode of MTV’s iconic house tour program ‘Cribs’, Taliban fighters can be seen lounging in the ostentatious interior of former vice president Dostum’s residence, believed to be in Sheberghan, the capital of Jowzjan province. 

Dostum, a seasoned warlord who aligned himself with the US-backed Northern Alliance during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, had traveled to the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif to defend it from a Taliban onslaught. But he reportedly fled the city after government forces handed over their weapons and equipment to the Taliban as part of a “cowardly plot,” Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh province, told the media. Noor, who was commanding local militiamen when the city’s defenses collapsed, said both he and Dostum had escaped and were safe. 

However, what Dostum left behind both amused and angered social media observers. Footage shows cross-legged militants relaxing in overstuffed armchairs as others admire the mansion’s glitzy decor. One clip shows them examining what appears to be a gold tea set. 

The videos represent a “searing propaganda victory” for the Taliban, one pundit argued, noting that Dostum was a “near-mythic” figure who had once controlled vast swathes of Afghanistan.

Others expressed dismay that the Taliban fighters had enjoyed a “tea party” in a “castle” allegedly built using US tax dollars. 

“Whilst General Dostum lived in opulence, many of his soldiers went unpaid. One of the reasons for the army’s collapse,” British politician and former soldier Henry Bolton complained

Political pundit and MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan said the footage served as a reminder that the “corrupt warlords we allied with in Afghanistan all these years have been pretty awful.”

During his years of cooperation with the United States, Dostum has faced repeated accusations of corruption and human rights abuses. He spent part of 2018 in exile, following accusations that he had ordered a political opponent to be sexually assaulted. 

The Taliban didn’t linger long in Dostum’s sumptuous lodgings, however, beginning an assault on Kabul on Sunday. 

Also on rt.com Taliban air force clear for takeoff? Militants show off captured aircraft as fighting approaches Kabul outskirts (VIDEOS)

Like this story? Share it with a friend!