MOSCOW, October 8. The number of militants in Afghanistan is up to 50 thousand people, United in more than 4 thousands of units and groups of different directions.
About this informed the head of the Russian General staff army General Valery Gerasimov.
“Now in Afghanistan there are up to 50 thousand members United in more than 4 thousands of units and groups of various kinds. Their basis is the Islamic movement of Taliban numbering about 40 thousand militants”, – said Gerasimov at the opening of the international conference on Afghanistan.
According to him, the number of militants “Islamic state” in Afghanistan is growing, it has already reached 2-3 thousand people. The General noted that the terrorists take control of new regions. “As a result of subversive and terrorist activities of radical extremists, the death toll of Afghan civilians this year has increased by 25% and reached more than 3,5 thousand people. About 7 thousand were injured,” – said Gerasimov.
The active opposition of extremists, government troops does not allow an official to Kabul to solve the problem of the stabilization of the political and socio-economic situation in the country, leads to unnecessary casualties and continuous growth in the number of refugees in neighbouring countries, and through them to Europe, said Gerasimov.
“As the us military is particularly concerned about inadequate training and equipment of Afghan security forces, effectively conduct operations against illegal armed formations”, – said the commander. So, Gerasimov said, because of this, the militants of the Taliban movement captured the city of Kunduz – a major administrative centre in the North of the country, although to his defense were involved in the formation of NATO in the country. “But a year ago the United States, NATO and their allies, rolling the mission of the international forces in Afghanistan, said stabilizing the situation in the region and the capabilities of the Afghan security forces to provide security in the state. As you can see, this has not happened,” – said Gerasimov.
Emissaries of ISIS recruit militants in the East and North of Afghanistan
In turn, the head of the Main Directorate of the General staff of the Russian armed forces Igor Sergun reported that emissaries of the Islamic state recruited fighters in the Eastern and Northern provinces of Afghanistan, including on the border with Turkmenistan. “Currently, the completion of formations of ISIL, according to our estimate, is mainly due to the bribe field commanders from the Islamic movement of Taliban, Islamic movement of Uzbekistan, as well as other actors on Afghan territory by the extremist religious organizations,” he said.
“In addition, a search for individual fighters, able with appropriate funding to lead local armed gangs of extremists”, – said Sargon. In his estimation, “the most successful emissaries of the IG reached in the Eastern and Northern Afghan provinces, including those bordering with Turkmenistan, Faryab and Jawzjan”. According to Sarguna, the IG has consistently increased the number of its groups in Afghanistan, creating a network of training camps and hideouts of the terrorists.
“Joined IG Afghans actively involved to work on recruiting new members. The effect of their advocacy is higher than that of emissaries from among the Arabs or Pakistanis in Afghanistan traditionally treated with extreme caution,” said Sargun.
The number of formally Autonomous, but sympathizers of the ISIS militants is about 4.5 thousand people, said Sargun. “The total number of sympathizers, but have not yet joined IG and formally preserving their autonomy of bandit groups, we estimate, is about 4.5 thousand people”, – said the commander.
“Readiness for joint IG action, said some representatives of local ethnic extremist groups – Islamic movement of Uzbekistan, “Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Lashkar-e-Tayyib”, Union of Islamic Jihad”, – said the head of the Main Directorate of the General staff. “Despite the significant growth in the number of ISIS supporters in Afghanistan, the ideology of this group, doesn’t yet widespread in Patriarchal Afghan society, which traditionally, for many centuries waged wars with foreign invaders,” said Sargun.
Loss of IG and the Taliban in fighting with each other
According to him, the Taliban and the “Islamic state” since the beginning of year has lost about 900 militants, battling each other in the West and the East of Afghanistan.
ISIS launched a propaganda campaign to discredit the ideology of the Taliban and to produce dissension in their ranks. “To this end are actively used accusations of betrayal of the Taliban leadership, the idea of “Jihad against the American occupiers” and “conciliatory talks” with the Afghan government and the U.S. administration,” he said.
The Taliban, according to Sarguna, “do not intend to share power and to lose a portion of profits from drug trafficking even in the interests of building a “Caliphate”.
The volume of drug production has increased 40 times
According to Gerasimov, the mechanisms of regional security in Central Asia based on mutual deterrence, do not work. “So far in the region in a sustainable balanced system of mutual security to create failed. Previously established mechanisms for regional security based on mutual deterrence, do not work today. There are new challenges and threats, often not characteristic for this region,” he said.
According to Gerasimov, the growing terrorist activity inhibits the development of Afghanistan and the significant flow of drugs, weapons and trained fighters from this country are a threat to neighbours and first of all to the countries of Central Asia.
“Over the past 14 years, the volume produced (within the country) of drugs increased 40 times, and the amount of opium this year may reach 8 thousand tons, that exceeds indicators of last year by 20%,” – said Gerasimov.
In the spring the head of the Federal drug control service Viktor Ivanov noted that the sown area of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan since 2001 has increased nearly 30 times, reaching 224 thousand hectares. Thus, according to him, the production of opium increased 35 – fold to 6.4 thousand tons (in 2014).
According to the UN, last year the share of Afghanistan 85% of global production of opiates and 77% of heroin production. Cultivation and processing of opium poppy remains one of the main areas of economic activity in Afghanistan, and the gross value of the whole “opium economy” in 2014 was estimated at $2.84 billion, accounting for 13% of GDP.