‘If you want death, come!’ Why does Russia need exercises near the border of Afghanistan

Anton Lisitsyn

The Taliban stormed Lashkar Gah and Kandahar, and air traffic was cut off by a shot on the airport runway. The government army says it is killing Taliban fighters in the hundreds. But the former head of the CIA and the commander of the contingent in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, believes that a bloody civil war will unfold in the country after the withdrawal of American troops. What is happening in the state in the Middle East – RIA Novosti figured out.

Pilot hunting

In the province of Herat, the Taliban was attacked by a B-52 strategic bomber. Since the Americans abruptly left the Bagram airfield, aviation has been working on militants from abroad. The withdrawal of ground units was covered by aircraft taking off from an aircraft carrier, which moved between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea.

Air supremacy is one of the advantages of the government army. The Taliban have neither aviation nor effective air defense, so they hunt the most trained and motivated military – pilots.

US Brigadier General David Hicks, who trained Afghan pilots, said that it is more dangerous for them on the streets, “off duty” than in the sky, on a combat mission.

Afghan Air Force Major Dastagir Zamaray decided to sell the house and change the area to escape the terrorists. He was killed in the office of a real estate agent, and the realtor was also shot. Zamaray died in front of his teenage son, the boy was spared by the Taliban. By that time, the underground had already destroyed seven pilots.

Militants are not always lenient with children. Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman posted on Twitter a photo of a teenager with a whip or stick on his back. Comm-entary under the photo: “Taliban terrorists severely beat a child in Shirin Tagab district of Faryab province because his father is an Afghan soldier.”

Aman also informed about the losses of the Taliban : “Over the past 24 hours, 455 terrorists have been killed and 232 wounded as a result of the operation of the security forces in the provinces of Nangarhar, Paktia, Paktika, Logar, Kandahar, Herat, Faryab, Jowzjan, Balkh, Samangan, Helmand, Tahar, Kunduz, Baghlan and Kapisa”. He explained who he considered the organizers of the offensive. “If you want death, come to Afghanistan! Thirty-nine corpses of Pakistani Taliban killed in the war against the heroic defense forces have been handed over to their homeland.”

Skirmish in social networks

Fighting, the Taliban are active in the political field as well. Movement spokesman Suhail Shahin said the fighting would end when the administration of President Ashraf Ghani resigns. And he promised that women would be allowed to get education and work, and no one would touch the Afghans who collaborated with the Americans and their allies.

During his visit to Moscow, the deputy head of the Taliban in Qatar, Sher Mohammad Stanakzai also spoke about the need to resign the president. True, then there was no talk of a cease-fire.

The Afghan head of state himself responded to the Taliban on Facebook: he will not kneel “before any destructive force.” But I’m ready for negotiations.

On Monday, while presenting a plan of action to both chambers of the national parliament, Ghani said the situation was worsening due to the sudden withdrawal of troops by the United States. At the same time, he assured that he would take control of ever-ything within six months, and Washington expressed its full support to Kabul.

The Taliban responded on social media. They were not shy in expressions: the time of the Afghan president, who is trying to spit saliva, is over, and his words are nonsense. And they added: the Afghan people “will bring to justice the national traitors.”

Troops at the border

Meanwhile, Moscow has increased the number of its military contingent in joint tripartite exercises with Ta-shkent and Dushanbe near the borders of Afghanistan, at the Harb-Maidon training ground in Tajikistan. “The buildup of forces and means was carried out at the expense of artillery, tank, motorized rifle and reconnaissance units of the 201st military base,” the press service of the Central Military District specified.

The maneuvers will start on August 5 and will end in five days. The troops of the three countries will work out joint military operations against illegal armed groups.

Omar Nessar, director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary Afghanistan, notes with bitterness that although the conflicting sides speak of their commitment to a peaceful solution to the crisis, things are heading for war. “There is an abyss between the Taliban and official Kabul,” he notes.

“If the Taliban only demanded Ghani’s departure, concessions would be possible, but they are constantly putting forward new conditions, raising rates. They want Kabul to capitulate, but the government, with all the current problems, does not intend to surrender,” the expert says. The authorities also benefit from the fact that US financial assistance is still distributed by the central government, and the Taliban themselves are forcing Afghan politicians to consolidate around the current administration. “On the contrary, the offensive of the militants pushed many into the arms of Ghani,” adds Nessar.

Pavel Dyatlenko, Associate Professor of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, Candidate of Historical Sciences, explains in a commentary to RIA Novosti that he worries Moscow and the capitals of the Central Asian republics. “Uncertainty sets in. The problem of Afghanistan for the outside world is not the Taliban or anyone else, but the absence of a stable and strong central government. Communities of peoples live compactly in the north of the country, who, as they say, have their own states on the other side of the river. Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens. And this cannot but affect Central Asia. At least tension and instability will remain, “he points out.

Dyatlenko recalls how militants from Afghanistan attacked the former Soviet borders in the 1990s. They were from various international terrorist groups.

The interlocutor believes that the threat from the south can push the countries of the region to intensify integration. The Afghan crisis has shown that apart from security issues, Moscow, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Tashkent and Ashgabat have a different agenda, which is why Russia is not indifferent to what is happening on the former borders of the USSR.

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