Russian special forces in anti-terror drills on Tajikistan-Afghanistan border

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — Russian special forces are carrying out military drills in Tajikistan on the Afghan-Tajik border, searching for simulated outlawed armed groups as part of the exercises, Sputnik news agency quoted Yaroslav Roshchupkin, the spokesman of Russian Central Military District, as saying on May 30.

“Special operation units landed at the highland border military range Harbmaydon and started searching for outlawed armed groups, detecting of caravans with arms and drugs, locating training camps and provisional militant caches,” the spokesman said.

According to Roshchupkin, after locating the militants, aviation, artillery and missile troops will move in to strike the uncovered targets.

Some 2,000 Russian troops and more than 300 equipment units are taking part in the joint drills dubbed Dushanbe-Anti-Terror-2017. The drills of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Anti-Terrorism Center, involving armed forces of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, are held for the first time and will last from late May to June.

It was earlier reported that Russia had sent Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems to Tajikistan to take part in the Dushanbe-Anti-Terror 2017 drills, the first time this type of missile has been moved to the Central Asian country.

Russia earlier 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.

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