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Afghanistan May Become a New Shelter for ISIL – Russia Warns

(Last Updated On: April 04, 2018 8:27 pm)

Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday warned that Afghanistan may become a new shelter not only for ISIL militants but for other terrorist groups in the region.

“Afghanistan may become a new shelter not only for militants of the ISIL [the former name of the Islamic State terror grouping outlawed in Russia) but also for other terror groups,” Shoigu said at 7th Moscow conference on international security today, quoted by TASS news agency.

Shoigu claimed that the U.S. years-long presence in Afghanistan has failed to normalize the situation in that country.

“The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. The presence of the U.S. and NATO contingent in that country for more than 15 years has failed to bring the situation to normal,” he said.

According to Shoigu, the U.S. is seeking to “gain foothold in Central Asia on new terms” to have a possibility to spread its influence to the countries adjacent to Afghanistan.”

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai who has been among the critics of the U.S. policies in Afghanistan also attended the Moscow conference which runs from 04 to 05 April.

“..The assumption was that the U.S. and its allies would be able to handle the problem and succeed and that they were sincere in their mission, that hope has been dashed to the ground, unfortunately. 17 years on, Afghanistan is neither peaceful nor safe,” he said.

This comes as recently, the U.S. and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson alleged that Russian weapons were being smuggled across the Tajik border to the Taliban.

He accused Russia of exaggerating the number of Islamic State (IS) fighters in Afghanistan “to legitimize the actions of the Taliban and provide some degree of support to the Taliban”.

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