Russia has seen the movement of Islamic State (IS) terrorist fighters from Syria, Libya and other countries to Afghanistan. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters today that Russia will provide military assistance to Tajikistan if the country is threatened by events in neighboring Afghanistan.
“Of course, we hope that there will be some consensus and inter-ethnic reconciliation in Afghanistan. At the same time, however, we are seeing units of the Islamic State actively moving there (…) from various regions, including Syria and Libya, “Shoigu said.
During his visit to Tajikistan today, Russia’s defense minister also promised military assistance in the form of weapons and training to the Central Asian country at a time of deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the AFP agency reported.
Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also preparing for a joint military exercise at the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan next week.
He attributed the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan to the “hasty” withdrawal of the remaining troops of an international coalition led by the United States. The US-North Atlantic mission in a troubled Asian country has failed, the situation is deteriorating rapidly and has virtually spiraled out of control, Shoigu was quoted as saying by TASS.
The radical Islamist movement Taliban launched a massive offensive against government forces in May – at a time when the international coalition began withdrawing its remaining troops from the country. It has since occupied large rural areas and key border crossings with neighboring countries. He claims to have 90 percent of the country’s borders under control, which the government in Kabul denies.
However, US Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken also expressed strong concern about the situation in the country during a visit to Delhi, India: The Taliban longs for international recognition and international support for Afghanistan. They probably want their leadership to travel the world, to lift sanctions and so on. But the way to do that is not to seize power by force and violate the rights of the nation, “Blinken said.
Tajikistan, among which hundreds of Afghan soldiers and civilians have recently fled from rapidly advancing Taliban fighters, is watching the country with concern, among others. Dushanbe responded, among other things, by asking for help from its allies and mobilizing 20,000 reservists to help increase border surveillance. Last week, the Central Asian country’s army underwent the largest military exercise in the country’s history to test the army’s combat readiness, with 230,000 troops taking part, AFP said.
Russia, based in Tajikistan, fears destabilization in Central Asian countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. There are fears in Moscow of the infiltration of Islamist radicals into these states, Reuters reported earlier.