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Russia concerned about prospects of IS getting stronger in Afghanistan — diplomat

Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov noted that the Taliban and IS were irreconcilable enemies

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Russia is concerned about the possibility of the Islamic State (IS) terror group (outlawed in Russia) consolidating its positions in northern Afghanistan, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov said at an online briefing on Thursday.

"We are primarily concerned about the potential prospects of the IS and similar international terror groups taking advantage of the chaos that has arisen to consolidate their positions in northern Afghanistan to damage the security and stability of the Central Asian states," he said.

Kabulov noted that the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) and IS were irreconcilable enemies. "If we call things by their proper names, it was the Taliban movement that fought ISIL (former name of IS - TASS) most actively and effectively, unlike all others, including the current government and the US-NATO forces. That is why the more IS militants Taliban members kill, the better the situation will be in the sense in which you asked me," he added.

On April 14, US President Joe Biden announced his decision to end the operation in Afghanistan, which had become the longest overseas military campaign in American history. Against this background, the deterioration of the security situation has been seen as the Taliban group is stepping up the pace of its offensive on a number of fronts. According to the Taliban, they have been able to gain control of about 85% of the country’s territory, including areas located along the border with Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.