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Some 10,000 natives of CSTO states fighting in Syria — secretary-general

June 07, 2016, 17:52 UTC+3

CSTO Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha says the recent developments in Kazakhstan’s Aktoba pose no threat to collective security of the member countries

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

YEREVAN, June 7. /TASS/. Some 10,000 natives of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states are fighting in Syria, CSTO Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha said Tuesday.

"Different data are mentioned, but on the whole we are speaking of some 10,000. There are exact data on countries," Bordyuzha said.

He underscored that the CSTO knows how many people there are in Syria from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

"Special services are managing these lists, discovering those who leave, so there is such information," the secretary-general said.

Migration flows

The CSTO will take measures against migration flows from the area of military hostilities in Syria if migrants start threatening the security of the CSTO member states, Bordyuzha said.

He said the CSTO had a well-functioning system of controlling migration from the area of the Syrian armed conflict and could track trends in the migration process.

"But we will certainly react and take measures if these migration flows start growing and affecting the security of our states. But there is no need for it so far," Bordyuzha said.

The CSTO has taken under special control the migration flows from Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, CSTO Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha told journalists on Tuesday.

"We are just monitoring the situation. Moreover, we agreed to collect monthly data from all the [CSTO member] states to see the general picture of how migration flows are changing in our territory. We are paying special attention to migrants from five countries - Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq," Bordyuzha said.

US position 

The US unwillingness to dissociate militants from the constructive opposition in Syria prevents effectively delivering strikes against terrorists, he went on.

"In general, I don’t understand the position of the United States, which is not taking any measures for dissociating groups under the accords [as part of the negotiation process] from terrorist organizations, i.e. to bring clarity to the structure of Syrian organizations that are moderate and, I would say, constructive opposition while others are simply a banal terrorist grouping or simply a bandit formation," Bordyuzha said.

"In this context, this mixture, especially around Aleppo, does not allow effectively delivering strikes because terrorists groups are actually sheltering themselves behind civilians or the so-called moderate opposition," the CSTO chief said.

The Syria situation influences both the CSTO security and security on a global scale, he said.

"This is because this is the factor, which can really complicate very seriously the situation in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asian states," Bordyuzha said.

Gunmen return from Syria

The CSTO registers the return of gunmen from Syria to CSTO member countries where they come from, where they later organize ‘terrorist underground,’ Bordyuzha said.

"This information about the returning gunmen can be seen in print media. Some return to organize terrorist underground on the territory of our states," he said.

He said these facts were fixed in Russia and in Tajikistan which has seen several criminal trials involving people detained after returning from the zone of Syrian combat operations and trying to organize terrorist and political activity in these countries as well as in Kyrgyzstan.

Bordyuzha said the CSTO would take measures if a flow of migrants from the zone of Syrian warfare threatened the security of its member states.

The secretary general said the organization had established a system of control over the flow of migrants from the zone of an armed conflict so that to be able to monitor tendencies in the situation with the migration process.

"But if one day we see that this flow starts start growing to affect security of our countries, of course we will be taking measures," he said, noting that there was no such need at the moment.

Aktoba events

 The recent developments in Kazakhstan’s Aktoba (former Aktyubinsk), where extremists staged a series of attacks on arms shops and an army unit, pose no threat to collective security of the member countries, he added.

"Naturally, we are keeping a close eye on the situation. I don’t think these developments may pose any threats to the collective security system," he said.

"So, all we should do is only to watch the situation. We are not going to interfere. The state has sufficient potential to address the situation," he said.

On Sunday, June 5, a group of criminals staged a series of armed attacks on arms shops and a National Guard unit in Kazakhstan’s city of Aktoba. According to the latest data, eight people were killed, including three servicemen. According to Kazakhstan’s ministry of health and social development, as many as 38 people were taken to hospital with wounds of various degree of gravity. The interior ministry reported that thirteen criminals were killed and four wounded in the anti-terrorist operation. Severn more are wanted by the police. Eight people were detained on suspected involvement in the attacks.

After the regime of counter-terrorist operation was imposed in the Aktoba region, the National Security Committee declared a "yellow level" of terrorist alert for the rest of the country’s regions that will be in place for 40 days. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev took the situation in Aktoba under his personal control.

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