Afghanistan: Number of Islamic State militants could grow to 10,000 — Russian envoy to UN

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The Islamic State terrorist organization (Daesh) is on the rise in Afghanistan and the group’s numbers could soon grow to up to 10,000 members in the war-torn country, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said during the Security Council meeting on September 17, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reports.

“At the focus of our close attention is a surge of terrorist activity by the Afghan wing of ISIL [Daesh], whose ranks are growing largely due to foreign fighters with battlefield experience in Syria and Iraq,” Nebenzia said. “According to our information, the number of ISIL adherents may reach 10,000 individuals.”

Nebenzia noted that Russia is troubled by the Daesh’s attempts to reach an agreement with the Taliban and other organizations in an effort to coordinate operations. Contacts have strengthened between Daesh and representatives of the Islamic Turkistan movement, he added.

Nebenzia also said that it is necessary to proactively leverage the UN Security Council’s sanctions mechanisms, and pointed out that Russia advocates for additional barriers to preempt terrorist activity in the country by targeting individual and entities complicit in Daesh operations.

The fight against Daesh in Afghanistan would be far more effective if regional and international efforts were brought together, Nebenzia said.

The Afghan government has been fighting the Taliban, which has been waging a war against Kabul for almost two decades, and against Daesh.

Sergey Kwan

TCA