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    In this October 23, 2016 image, a US military helicopter is seen flying toward Bagram airbase from Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Pentagon Accuses Russia to Avoid Criticism Over Afghanistan Campaign – Analyst

    © AFP 2018 / Thomas WATKINS
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    A Pentagon representative has claimed that Russia is not doing enough to address the radicalization of terrorists. Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said that Daesh* is fleeing from Syria and Iraq and bolstering their positions in northern Afghanistan. Sputnik spoke about the issue with Rahimullah Yusufzai, security analyst.

    Lieut.Col. Kone Faulkner has said that the United States is concerned about radicalization happening near Russian borders. At the same time, he refused to speculate on presence of Daesh militants in Afghanistan. 

    Oleg Syromolotov in turn said that terrorists are hiding in Afghanistan and seek to topple the legitimate governments and seize the territories of Central Asian countries and Russia to create a new stronghold. 

    Sputnik: In your view what prompted the Pentagon representative to claim that Russia is not doing enough to address the problem of radicalization on its own territory?

    Yusufzai: I think one of the reasons could be that the US has been criticized for not doing enough itself in Afghanistan, because there have also been allegations against the Americans, especially by former President Hamid Karzai. 

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    He said that the unmarked helicopters were actually flying ISIS [Daesh*] fighters and weapons from one province to another. He blamed the US for patronizing the ISIS. I think it could be an attempt by the Americans to deflect criticism and pressure on the US. 

    So they want to blame Russia and other countries for not doing enough, but the question is: Has America done enough to fight the ISIS in the Middle East or in Afghanistan? That is the big question. I think the US should also be more specific. 

    If they have some example, some evidence that Russia is not doing enough, they should present that to make their case stronger, because this was just a general statement and accusing Russia of not doing enough without providing any backup evidence. 

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    Sputnik: What’s your take on the whereabouts of terrorists who fled Iraq and Syria? Where do you believe they are now?

    Yusufzai: We don’t have precise information; some of them, I think, are still in those countries, especially in Syria. Some of the people who speak Arabic they can easily cross over to other Arab countries. 

    It won’t be easy to identify and capture them. Others I think will try to come to places where there is a weak government. Where there are already militant groups operating, so these countries could include Afghanistan, because there is a power vacuum and the Taliban are controlling large tracts of territory in Afghanistan and as I said earlier ISIS is also present in four districts, two in the east and two in the north. 

    I think these ISIS fighters will try to reach these areas. As I said, two of them have already been captured: a German national and a French national. Many more have arrived without being captured or killed yet. 

    The views and opinions expressed by Rahimullah Yusufzai are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organizations banned in Russia.

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    Tags:
    military operation, accusations, terrorism, interview, Daesh, US Armed Forces, Taliban, Afghanistan
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