MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Terrorists from Syria and Iraq are flocking to Afghanistan to create a foothold for attacks on member-states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the post-Soviet military alliance’s acting secretary-general said.
"Today, a flow of militants of the Islamic State, who were not killed in Syria and Iraq, is going to Afghanistan and they may turn this country into a foothold for expansion to the territory of the CSTO countries," Valery Semerikov said at the Moscow Conference on International Security.
Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Department Igor Korobov said earlier that about 3,500 fighters have joined the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) in Afghanistan and terrorists are planning to at least double this figure by next year.
Militants who have fought as part of a grouping in the Middle East are normally dispatched to the country’s north and west, he noted. Up to 50% of ISIL fighters are foreigners, among whom no less than 70% are natives of Central Asia, the general said.
Headquartered in Moscow, the CSTO, formed in 2002, is a regional security group comprising six post-Soviet countries - Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia.