The top commander of U.S. army and Resolute Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan denounced Russia and Iran during a Pentagon briefing on Friday, accusing the two country were “legitimizing” the Taliban inside Afghanistan.
“Russia has overtly lent legitimacy to the Taliban. And their narrative goes something like this: that the Taliban are the ones fighting Islamic State, not the Afghan government,” Gen. John Nicholson told reporters.
He insisted that the government of Afghanistan and the U.S. counter-terrorism efforts are achieving the greatest effect against Islamic State.
He added,” this public legitimacy that Russia lends to the Taliban is not based on fact, but it is used as a way to essentially undermine the Afghan government and the NATO effort and bolster the belligerents … so it’s not helpful”.
The high-rank U.S. general also asserted that the Afghan government has addressed this issue with Russia.
Referring to Russia, the general further explained, “There is a competition with NATO.” He continued, “We would like to see a change in their behavior.”
Nicholson also said Pakistan, a longtime U.S. ally, was lending support to the Taliban, which has launched a string of deadly attacks in the past week.
He also said the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network was holding five Americans hostage. The State Dept designated Haqqani a terrorist organization in 2012.
By: Hesamuddin Hesam