Iraq and Syria terrorists are actively invading Afghanistan: Vladimir Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that battle-hardened terrorists from Iraq and Syria are “actively” invading Afghanistan.

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

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that battle-hardened terrorists from Iraq and Syria are “actively” invading Afghanistan.

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

“Militants from Iraq and Syria with experience in military operations are actively being drawn there,” he said.

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

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Putin has repeatedly warned that members of extremist groups are taking advantage of the political unrest in Afghanistan to enter neighboring ex-Soviet states as refugees.

While Moscow has been cautiously optimistic about the new Taliban leadership in Kabul, the Kremlin is concerned about the spread of instability to Central Asia, where it is home to military bases.

After the Taliban came to power, Russia conducted military exercises with the former Soviet Tajikistan – where it operates a military base – and in Uzbekistan. Both countries share a border with Afghanistan.

For his part, Tajikistan’s national security chief Saimumin Yatimov said in the video conference that he had registered an “increase” in attempts to smuggle “drugs, weons, ammunition” from Afghanistan into his country.

Afghanistan has long been the world’s largest producer of opium and heroin, and the profits from the illicit trade help fund the Taliban.

French President Emmanuel Macron received Tajik leader Emomali Rakhmon in Paris on Wednesday and promised to help the Central Asian state maintain stability.

While the Taliban have stated that they pose no threat to the Central Asian countries, the former Soviet republics in the region have previously been the target of attacks attributed to allies of Afghan Islamists.

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

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