Islamic State militants moving to Central Asia — Russian defense minister

BEIJING (TCA) — Militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization are moving to Central Asia and Southeast Asia after having been defeated in Syria and Iraq, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on April 24 at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense ministers in Beijing, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

“After the defeat of the so-called Islamic State, militants are moving to other regions from Syria and Iraq, including to Central and Southeast Asia. New terrorist cells are being created there,” Shoigu said.

“The situation is complicated by the fact that terrorists use modern means of destruction, including unmanned aerial vehicles… capable of operating over a distance of 100 kilometers [62 miles]. Their creation is impossible without the technical assistance of developed countries,” he added.

At the meeting, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe called on the defense ministers from the SCO member countries to continuously improve cooperation in defense and security, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Wei called on the SCO member countries to stick to the principle of treating each other as equals, helping each other and sharing weal and woe, so as to build a security pattern of joint building and shared benefits in defense and security cooperation.

“We should continue to uphold the ‘Shanghai Spirit’, and strengthen pragmatic cooperation in high-level exchanges, joint exercises, military culture, education and training,” Wei said, adding that joint efforts should be made to fight against terrorism and safeguard regional and world peace.

The “Shanghai Spirit” features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.

During the meeting, Wei met with defense ministers from Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and India, exchanging views on deepening bilateral military communication and cooperation.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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