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Taliban image said to mock iconic photo of US flag-raising on Iwo Jima

Elite commando unit, seemingly sporting advanced military gear, raises white flag of the militant group

(L) An apparent image of Taliban fighters raising a flag in a mockery of iconic WWII photo (R) In this Feb 23, 1945 file photo, US Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal, File)
(L) An apparent image of Taliban fighters raising a flag in a mockery of iconic WWII photo (R) In this Feb 23, 1945 file photo, US Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal, File)

The Taliban’s media wing has reportedly released an image mocking the famed photo of US soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima.

According to the Marine Corps Times, the fighters in the Taliban picture are members of the Badri 313 unit of elite commandos.

The origins of the image could not be immediately verified.

The soldiers depicted raising the white Taliban flag on a hilltop were apparently armed with advanced tactical gear and night vision goggles.

Washington is still attempting to gauge the scope of United States weaponry and technology that have fallen into the hands of the Taliban following Afghanistan’s fall, though it is believed to be considerable.

The Islamist group is believed to have gained hundreds of thousands of assault rifles, thousands of armored vehicles, dozens of aircraft, tanks, artillery, sniper rifles, night-vision goggles and much more.

In videos circulating on social media, the heavily armed commandos are seen patrolling the streets of Kabul with the usual distinctive robes of the Taliban replaced with military uniforms.

The iconic original image by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal shows six US soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima in 1945.

More than 6,500 US servicemen died in the battle at Iwo Jima, a tiny island 660 miles south of Tokyo that was deemed vital to the US war effort because Japanese fighter planes based there were intercepting American bomber planes. The invasion began on February 19, 1945, with about 70,000 Marines battling 18,000 Japanese soldiers for 36 days.

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