Joint drills held by Tajik and Russian troops near the Afghan border

As part of preparations for potential security threats from Afghanistan, Russian and Tajik troops held joint drills near Tajikistan's border to Afghanistan on Friday.

Joint drills held by Tajik and Russian troops near the Afghan border

As part of preparations for potential security threats from Afghanistan, Russian and Tajik troops held joint drills near Tajikistan's border to Afghanistan on Friday.

Mine Nur Deniz
Mine Nur Deniz
25 October 2021 Monday 16:40
15 Reads
Joint drills held by Tajik and Russian troops near the Afghan border

Exercises at Momirak's firing range, about 20 km (12 miles) north the Afghan border, involved both helicopter gunships and armored vehicles. The exercises were part of a week-long series of war games, in which about 5,000 soldiers and more than 700 armored vehicles came from Russia, Tajikistan, and other ex-Soviet countries that are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. This is a Moscow-dominated security agreement.

Sherali Mirzo, Tajikistan's Defense Minister, said that the drills were made in the wake of "catastrophic" changes following the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Mirzo said that terrorist groups in Afghanistan have "acquired many modern weapons, greatly improved their positions and used the current situation to create conditions for its transformation in to a foothold for further destructive acts in the region."

Russian officials stated that they believed the Taliban's promise not to threaten neighboring countries. However, they noted that al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and other militants in Northern Afghanistan could attempt to destabilize neighboring ex-Soviet Central Asian states. They said that drug trafficking from Afghanistan would continue to be a problem.

Moscow pledged to provide military support to its ex Soviet allies in Central Asia in order to counter potential threats. A series of joint drills were held in Uzbekistan (which is neighboring Afghanistan) and Tajikistan.

Russia maintains a military base at Tajikistan, which is the largest military outpost of the former Soviet Union. It also has an air base in Kyrgyzstan. This week, jets from that base participated in the war games.

Lt. Gen. YevgeniyPoplavsky, deputy commander in the Russian armed forces’ Central Military District, oversaw the drills and described them as part training to counter potential security threats.

Fears of IS fighters or other militants entering Central Asian countries were raised by the fighting between the Taliban in northern Afghanistan and the Islamic State there.

Poplavsky stated that the Taliban would try to drive all pro-ISIS military units out of its territory or destroy them, and become the only one (in control)". "That's why they don't exclude that they might push them to Tajikistan.

Ten-year war in Afghanistan was fought by the Soviet Union. It ended in 1989 with its troops leaving Afghanistan. Russia has been a powerful diplomatic broker in Afghanistan and hosted several rounds of talks with different Afghan factions.

Russia had been trying for years to establish contact with the Taliban. However, in 2003 it made the Taliban a terrorist organization and did not remove it from the list. Unlike other countries, Russia has not evacuated its embassy at Kabul since August when they took control of the Afghan capital.

Russia hosted a second round of talks Wednesday that included the Taliban and senior diplomats from India, Pakistan, Iran, China, India, and former Soviet countries in Central Asia.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladmir Putin stated that the international community was "coming close" to officially recognizing the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan. He said the United Nations must make the final decision. While he stressed the importance of the Taliban recognizing the rights and interests of all Afghan ethnicities and respecting human rights, he also noted the United Nations' efforts to defeat the Islamic State group.

Comments

Warning!

You have to login for comment. If you are not a member? Register now.

Login Sign Up