The Afghan Air Force has repaired 70 military planes and helicopters that were damaged by U.S. soldiers before they left the country on August 31, 2021.
The aircraft were given to the previous government of President Ashraf Ghani by the U.S. and its allied forces.
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Inayatullah Khawarizmi told Anadolu Agency in Kabul that all of them are now in service and being used by the Air Force.
"We didn't have a single operational aircraft when we came to power," he said.
The Taliban interim administration then began to rebuild the Afghan Air Force, Khawarizmi said, adding that "over 70 destroyed planes and helicopters have been repaired and put into service so far with our own means and the support of our technicians."
Other damaged and unusable military aircraft and helicopters are still being repaired, he added.
Approximately 600 pilots and technicians worked for the Afghan Air Force during the previous Ghani government, and a significant number of them left the country in August of last year. On the Taliban's request, approximately 40 pilots and technicians returned to Afghanistan and began their work.
"We supply the parts we require in the repair of airplanes and helicopters from planes or helicopters that are severely damaged or beyond repair because we cannot purchase spare parts for them. We completed these works entirely on our own," he said, adding that they are also not in a financial position to purchase new military planes or helicopters.
Of the Air Force’s 183 aircraft, 70 were taken to neighboring countries, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Kabul has asked both countries to return its military aircraft and helicopters, but its requests have gone unanswered.