Russia sends Iskander missile systems to Tajikistan for military drills

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — Russia has sent Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems to Tajikistan for military drills, the first time this type of missile has been moved to the Central Asian country.

TASS news agency quoted Russia’s Central Military District Troops Commander Colonel-General Vladimir Zarudnitsky as saying on May 25 that the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems of the Totskaya missile brigade have been deployed to Tajikistan for the Dushanbe-Anti-Terror 2017 drills of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The Dushanbe Anti-Terror 2017 is the first exercise conducted by the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center and involving the armed forces of CIS member-states. The active phase of the drills will begin in Tajikistan on May 30.

During the drills, the military will fire a missile at a camp of simulated terrorists based in the mountains, Zarudnitsky said.

Russia has already deployed to Tajikistan Sukhoi Su-24M (NATO reporting name: Fencer) frontline bombers from the Shagol airbase in the southern Urals, and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters from Novosibirsk.

Russia has also reinforced its military base in Tajikistan with a battery of Uragan multiple rocket launcher systems, Sputnik news agency reported on May 25 citing the Central Military District commander.

“The combat capabilities of the [Russian] 201st military base [in Tajikistan] are reinforced by a formed heavy battery armed with the ‘Uragan’ multiple rocket launcher systems,” district commander Col. Gen. Vladimir Zarudnitsky said.

Russia has about 7,000 troops stationed at three facilities that are considered part of a single Russian base in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan is part of the Moscow-dominated CSTO military and security alliance.

Sergey Kwan

TCA