Iraq, Syria Terrorists “Actively” Entering Afghanistan: Vladimir Putin

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“The situation in Afghanistan is not easy,” said Vladimir Putin.

Moscow:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that seasoned terrorists from Iraq and Syria were “actively” entering Afghanistan.

“The situation in Afghanistan is not easy,” Putin said during a video conference with the heads of the security services of the former Soviet states.

“Militants from Iraq and Syria with experience in military operations are actively attracted to it,” he said.

“It is possible that terrorists are trying to destabilize the situation in neighboring states,” he added, warning that they could even attempt “direct expansion”.

Putin has repeatedly warned against members of extremist groups exploiting political unrest in Afghanistan to enter countries neighboring the former Soviet Union as refugees.

While Moscow has been cautiously optimistic about the Taliban’s new leadership in Kabul, the Kremlin is worried about the instability spreading to Central Asia where it houses military bases.

Following the Taliban takeover, Russia organized military exercises with the former Soviet Tajikistan – where it operates a military base – and in Uzbekistan. The two countries share a border with Afghanistan.

Tajikistan’s national security chief Saimumin Yatimov, for his part, said during the videoconference that he had recorded an “intensification” of attempts to “smuggle drugs, weapons, ammunition” from Afghanistan to his country. country.

Afghanistan has long been the world’s largest producer of opium and heroin, with profits from the illicit trade helping to finance the Taliban.

Earlier on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron received Tajikistan’s leader Emomali Rakhmon in Paris, pledging to help the Central Asian state maintain stability.

While the Taliban have said they pose no threat to Central Asian countries, the region’s former Soviet republics have already been the target of attacks attributed to allies of the Afghan Islamists.

Last week, Kremlin envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said Russia would invite the Taliban to Moscow for international talks on Afghanistan scheduled for October 20.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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