Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has voiced worries over the US and NATO’s denial of the presence of ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan.
“We are alarmed as unfortunately, the US and NATO military in Afghanistan makes every effort to silence and deny the ISIS group’s presence in Afghanistan,” said Lavrov during a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
He added that Moscow is harboring suspicions towards the NATO coalition’s actions on curbing the threat of terrorists in Afghanistan.
“According to our data, the ISIS presence in northern and eastern Afghanistan is rather serious, there are already thousands of gunmen,” Lavrov said.
“This increases the risk of the terrorists’ penetration to Central Asia and it is not that difficult to get to Russia,” he added.
Earlier in the month, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said the US is transferring ISIS to Afghanistan to justify its military presence in the Central Asian country following heavy blows dealt to the Takfiri terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
The Iranian defense minister also stressed that the US created ISIS to use it in Syria and Iraq.
However, he said, “after heavy blows suffered in these two countries, the US tried to take ISIS out of the scene and transfer it to Afghanistan to justify its presence there through [the group’s] shameless crimes.”
Late last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a similar warning about Washington’s attempt to relocate ISIS from the Middle East to Afghanistan.
In December last year, Russian warned that an estimated 10,000 members of the Takfiri ISIS terrorist group are currently present in Afghanistan, and that their number is growing due to the relocation of the terror outfit to the Central Asian country after territorial defeats in Syria and Iraq.
ISIS began establishing a presence in Afghanistan almost a year after making sweeping land grabs in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The Takfiri terrorist group took advantage of the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan and recruited some of its fighters from among Taliban defectors.
Back in 2014, the US-led occupying forces in Afghanistan officially announced the end of their combat operations in the country, saying they now had a mission to “train, advise, and assist” Afghan troops.
However, the US administration last year permitted the deployment of an additional 3,000 troops to Afghanistan, where the US already has 11,000 forces.