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US nursing Daesh in Afghanistan: Russia officials

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan

Russian officials have suggested that the United States is plotting the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan and the expansion of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group there.

The officials made the remarks during a security conference in Moscow, Russia Today reported on Thursday.

Addressing the event, Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan, said, on several occasions, Taliban groups which had refused to join Daesh were “set up” to be targeted by US airstrikes.

“The Afghan Army practically has no aircraft. Only the Americans do. These details bring some very bad thoughts and concerns. We have to take them into account and draw conclusions accordingly,” the official said.

“It seems like someone’s hand is pushing freshly trained ISIL (Daesh) fighters to mass along Afghanistan’s northern border. They don’t fight foreign or Afghan government troops,” Kabulov noted.

Colonel General Igor Sergun, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Russia’s military intelligence agency, said the US is maintaining a long-term goal of preventing stability in Central Asian countries and surrounding Russia and China with a network of regimes loyal to Washington.

He said Daesh “uses the worsening of the situation in Afghanistan to strengthen its position.”

Kabulov said individuals holding British and American passports were among those Daesh instructors training militants in Afghanistan as part of the group’s efforts to make inroads into Central Asia.

Citing Russian intelligence estimates, the diplomat said the number of militants in Afghanistan, who had pledged allegiance to Daesh, stood at 3,500.

The Takfiris have seized about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria. Its elements made their debut on the Afghan territory about a year ago.

On June 16, Taliban warned Daesh ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, against “waging a parallel insurgency in Afghanistan.” Taliban asked the Daesh leader to keep his men out of Afghanistan by withdrawing his support for those elements that are recruiting young militants in Taliban strongholds.

Since August 2014, the United States and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes against what they say are positions of the Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq. The campaign has failed to dislodge the group.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has expressed regret that Daesh had grown in strength since the allies started the campaign in Iraq, calling the assaults’ mission into question.

Some members of the US-led coalition have also been pounding purported Daesh positions inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a United Nations mandate since last September in a mission, which has likewise fallen short of uprooting the terrorists.

This US Air Forces Central Command photo shows a pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flying over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014 after conducting airstrikes in Syria (AFP photo).


Upon a request from Damascus, Russia has been conducting airstrikes of its own against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria for over a week now and has been welcomed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to embark on any such military measures on Iraqi soil.

Also on Thursday, Chief of the General Staff of the Syrian Arab Army, General Ali Ayoub confirmed that the group had lost part of their military capabilities due to Russian airstrikes.

US President Barack Obama has, however, called Moscow’s aerial campaign a “recipe for disaster” and claimed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin cannot “distinguish between” Daesh terrorists and the so-called moderate militants.

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