Russia, Uzbekistan And Tajikistan To Hold Military Exercise Along Afghanistan’s Border
The Russian military will take part in joint exercises with the Uzbek and Tajik military, said the commander of the Central Military District, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, TASS reported.
“In early August, we will take part in a joint exercise with the participation of military contingents of the armed forces of the republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan at the Harb-Maidon training ground,” he explained.
The exercises will take place from 5 to 10 August at the Tajik Harb-Maidon training ground, 20 km from the border with Afghanistan.
During the maneuvers, preparations will be undertaken to respond to potential hostilities by a joint group of forces against detachments of illegal armed formations, Lapin specified.
The number of servicemen who will be involved in the exercises has not yet been reported. The press service of the Central Military District noted that the basis of the Russian contingent will be the units of the 201st military base (stationed in Tajikistan), including mountain motorized rifle, tank and artillery units, as well as special forces groups of the Central Military District.
Specialists of the radiation, chemical and biological protection and mobile electronic warfare groups will also take part in the exercise.
In early July, US troops left Bagram airfield, which was the main base of the coalition forces in Afghanistan. After the withdrawal of a significant part of the US contingent in the country, the Taliban militants became more active and managed to take control of a significant part of the north of the country.
About 1,000 soldiers of the Afghan army were forced to retreat to the territory of Tajikistan.
Later, the Taliban managed to occupy villages in the Badakhshan province bordering Tajikistan. Thus, they took control of a section of the Afghan-Tajik border with a length of approximately 9000 km (the total is approximately 1340 km).
Clearly, any casual observers can notice that these exercises are being carried out as a sort of warning and deterrence for the Taliban.
Earlier in July, a delegation of the Taliban visited Moscow to offer assurances that their quick gains on the ground in Afghanistan do not threaten Russia or its allies in Central Asia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the Kremlin envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, met with the Taliban delegation to express concern about the escalation and tensions in northern Afghanistan. The ministry said Kabulov urged the Taliban “to prevent them from spreading beyond the country’s borders.”
“We received assurances from the Taliban that they wouldn’t violate the borders of Central Asian countries and also their guarantees of security for foreign diplomatic and consular missions in Afghanistan,” the ministry said.
Taliban spokesman Mohammad Sohail Shaheen said their delegation came to Moscow to “assure that we won’t allow anyone to use the Afghan territory to attack Russia or neighboring countries.”
“We have very good relations with Russia,” he was quoted by TASS as saying, adding that the insurgents remain committed to a peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan.
Still, Russia and allies prefer being ready than blindly trusting the group.
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