Almost 7,000 militants and several thousand “reservists” of ISIS terrorist group are currently operating in Afghanistan, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and the Foreign Ministry’s Director of the Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov said Thursday.
“We are following the genesis of the Afghan branch of ISIS in the last three years … According to our estimates, the Islamic State has around 7,000 active militants, not taking into account several thousand reservists,” he told Rossiya 24 television channel.
Kabulov also noted that “neither the Afghan government nor the foreign troops deployed there” cannot detect the Islamists there.
“This is a serious matter. ISIS militants have come to Afghanistan not to launch a jihad against US troops and other foreign forces. They have arrived in the country to create a foothold with a further goal of expanding to the north, to Central Asia,” he added, saying the terrorists aim to destabilize and overthrow governments of the Central Asian states.The diplomat stressed that ultimately Daesh is targeting Russia, noting that the overwhelming number of Daesh fighters in Afghanistan have arrived there either from Central Asia or Russia.
The always-turbulent situation in Afghanistan has worsened recently with the terror acts claimed by ISIS terrorists. One of the latest attacks occurred on January 29, with gunmen killing five people in Marshal Fahim military academy in Kabul. Daesh has reportedly claimed the responsibility for the attack.