05:25 GMT +324 October 2019
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    Former President of Afghanistan (2004-2014) Hamid Karzai

    Coincidence? Ex-Afghan President Karzai Sees Foreign Hand in ISIL Rise

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

    Militants from the Islamic State jihadist group could not have seized large swathes of Iran and Syria without active foreign support, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai told Sputnik Arabic on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Islamic State is an extremist group that operates mainly in Iraq and Syria, where it has captured large territories. A number of ISIL-affiliated groups operate in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and other locations across the Middle East and North Africa.

    “Their rise in Iraq and Syria may have both internal and external factors. There may be an internal environment for them to rise, there definitely also is an external hand with them,” Karzai, who served as Afghanistan's leader from December 2004 to September 2014, said.

    He added that “nobody can be so active, so agile, so moving militarily without foreign support.”

    “So if there ever is a situation where they are more in numbers, more in equipment, stronger in military operations, this would to us indicate a strong foreign backer with them and strong foreign backing to keep them flowing and moving,” Karzai stressed.

    The United States and NATO must join forces with countries like Russia to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan, the former Afghan leader said.

    The US-led NATO mission formally ended its International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat operations in Afghanistan on December 31, 2014. The Taliban insurgent group has boosted its operations in Afghanistan since NATO had transitioned to a non-combat mission in the country.

    “If they [the US and NATO] feel that they have not been able to defeat terrorism, then it is time for them to begin to consult with major powers of the world who are also all neighbors of Afghanistan: Russia, China, India and Iran,” Karzai stressed.

    Last month, Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said NATO had refused to cooperate with the Eurasian Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), rendering the prospect of joint anti-terror efforts in Afghanistan impossible.

    “If it is for the fight against terrorism, and Pakistan is not helping, then the United States must take proper action and especially action in consultation with Russia, China and other countries,” Karzai asserted.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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