Iranian and Russian security chiefs have expressed concerns that the Deash terrorist organisation will re-group from their former Middle East strongholds into Afghanistan.
The warnings were made during the second edition of the Regional Security Dialogue conference held in Tehran yesterday by the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, and his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, reported Press TV.
Also in attendance were security officials from China, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. “Since Daesh’s defeat in Iraq and Syria, one of the [pressing] security concerns has been the relocation of the defeated Daesh elements from the two countries to Afghanistan,” Shamkhani said.
Russia’s Patrushev said Afghanistan currently hosts between 2,500 and 4,000 Daesh terrorists and that the only solution is direct and unconditional talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government. He also referred to the increase in drug production in Afghanistan as one of the principal sources of funding terrorism, and said around $600 million of the funds deriving from drug production and sales go to terrorist outfits in the region each year.
Mohammad Ali Watanzadeh, the top Tajik security official in attendance, said that the “Presence of terrorist groups in northern Afghanistan is a serious growing threat.” He added: “With regard to expansion and stabilization of terrorist groups in northern Afghanistan, establishment of an independent terrorist ruling system is probable.”
Yesterday, the US House and Senate lawmakers reportedly approved a defence budget – set to be signed by President Donald Trump – which will see nearly $4.2 billion go towards the “Afghanistan Security Forces Fund” for the Afghan National Army, Air Force, Police Force and Special Security Forces. The funding comes after an investigation by the Washington Post exposed how the US federal government, allegedly lied to the American public for two decades about the progress being made in America’s longest war, which hoped to transform the country into a Western-style democracy.