A new militant hotbed is brewing in the Central Asia.
On April 18th, Colonel-General Alexander Manilov, chairman of the Coordinating Service of the Council of Commanders of the CIS Border Troops said that approximately 10,000 militants of various terror groups were concentrated on the borders of the former Soviet countries with Afghanistan.
Almost 6,000 of those arrived in 2019 alone, military journalist Simeon Pegov, in his Telegram Channel, quoted the general as having said.
The concentration specifically is in Afghanistan’s northern provinces, namely around the Afghan-Tajik and Afghan-Turkmen borders.
General Manilov also noted that the border troops of the countries of the Central Asia almost daily engage in clashes with terrorists who control drug trafficking, which is the main source of funding for terrorist logistics in the region
He also recalled that at the end of February a special regional meeting of the heads of the border agencies of the Central Asian countries was held in Dushanbe, where the parties had developed additional measures in connection with the situation on the border with Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Tajikistan and Russia, as well as Uzbekistan moved to reinforce security cooperation in the region, as well as opening their airspace for military aircraft.
In March, Acting Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Valery Semerikov said that large numbers of ISIS militants were concentrated in Afghanistan and they are the primary reason for the threats and challenges Tajikistan is facing.
“Tensions are associated both with traditional challenges and threats emanating from the territory of Afghanistan, and with the fact that large forces of ISIS militants are concentrated on its territory, whose goals and objectives are to destabilize the situation in the Central Asian region,” the CSTO head stressed. He also said that the overall current situation in Tajikistan is normal.
Separately, 175 militants that fought in armed conflicts abroad were pardoned in Tajikistan. The amnesty was announced by the official representative of Dushanbe, at a conference on countering international terrorism, which on April 18th took place in St. Petersburg, Russia.
According to reports, Tajik militants were freed from criminal responsibility due to the fact that they voluntarily returned to their homeland and laid down their arms.
Trusting that individuals that fought on the side of terrorist organizations will simply return home and rejoin society as full-fledged members is quite optimistic.
In late March, the Russian Interior Ministry claimed that ISIS terrorist shifted their focus on Tajikistan.
According to the head of the Main Directorate for Countering Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Oleg Ilinykh, after being mostly defeated in ISIS and Syria, ISIS are organizing sleeper cells in the former CIS countries that would potentially carry out attacks around the world.
“The strategic defeat of the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq entails a shift in the interests of the” Islamic State “to the territory of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia,” he said. Large numbers of ISIS militants are planning to form a worldwide terrorist network, sleeping cells that would demonstrate the ability to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the world, Ilinykh said.
The recent shift of US attention on Tajikistan may also substantiate the claims that militants may be interested in the region.
The appointment of an expert such as the new Ambassador to Tajikistan John Mark Pommersheim, isn’t accidental.
It is most possibly a sort of “ominous” foresight of an expected crisis in Tajikistan.
“Tajikistan may soon become a new hotspot undermining regional security in the Central Asia. There are serious doubts that Washington is in any kind planning to rescue Rahmon and his inncer circle or “ordinary Tajiks”. So, the US may traditionally aim to use the expected hot point to achieve own geopolitical goals in the region: to limit influence of the global competitors and to undermine the security situation in the southern Russian borders.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
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- Russia, Tajikistan Move To Boost Military And Security Cooperation
- Tajikistan Finds Itself In Focus Of U.S. Attention In Central Asia
- After Defeat In Syria ISIS Militants’ Interests Drift To CIS States: Russian Interior Ministry