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Russia awaits West’s reaction to ‘unidentified aircraft’ supporting IS in Afghanistan

An Afghan MP earlier stated that these unidentified military helicopters might belong to the US
Afghan security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan AP Photo/Rahmat Gul
Afghan security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan
© AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Moscow has shed light on and is anticipating a response from the West over reports that "unidentified aircraft" supported militants of the Islamic State terrorist group in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.

"Moscow shed light on new reports that unmarked helicopters transferred gunmen from the Afghan wing of the Islamic State (terror group, outlawed in Russia) in addition to sending weapons and ammunition to them in eastern Afghanistan," Zakharova said, recalling that on June 14, IS militants occupied a large part of the strategically important cave complex in Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.

Shortly before this, more than 50 armed extremists had been brought to the province by unidentified helicopters for reinforcing the terrorist group, which launched an offensive in Tora Bora, and a container with weapons and ammunition was supplied to them, she pointed out.

Zahir Qadir, an MP from Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament, earlier said that these unidentified military helicopters belong to the US and a week before combat actions, the forces defending positions in Tora Bora had not received any real support from the government and its Western allies.

"It is noteworthy that neither Afghan authorities nor the leadership of the US and NATO’s presence in Afghanistan have so far given any clear explanations on the flights of the so-called unidentified aviation, which have been on the rise over the past months, and this aviation supported IS gunmen in different provinces of Afghanistan," she noted.

"This continuing silence on the matter is becoming more expressive."

The diplomat called on Western mass media outlets, saying: "I would like these "unidentified helicopters" to emerge not only in Afghanistan but also on the pages of Western mass media." She noted that Western journalists "have all opportunities to ask the Pentagon, the White House and the US State Department questions on the matter."