The U.S. is relocating Daesh (ISIS, ISIL, IS) remnants from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan after the terrorist group has lost its strongholds in the west Asian Arab states, Iran’s top military commander said on Tuesday.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri told Tasnim news agency on Tuesday that continued tensions in Southwest Asia would provide Americans with the much-desired pretext to prolong their military presence there.
A calm region, he said, would obviously mean that the US should withdraw its forces and that regional countries would take charge of their own security.
“After witnessing ISIS and other organized terrorist groups losing their ground in Iraq and Syria, they are now relocating them to Afghanistan,” which has become the scene of fresh explosions, assassinations and crimes, Baqeri said.
He warned that the US continues to work on such schemes and expressed hope that the Afghan people will join hands to counter these plots.
The Iranian commander’s remarks echoed those of the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei who recently warned about Washington transferring ISIS terrorists from West Asia to Afghanistan in an effort to come up with a legitimate excuse for its continued military presence in the region.
“The same hands that created ISIS as a tool to oppress people in Syria and Iraq and carry out crimes against them are today seeking to transfer ISIS to Afghanistan after its defeats there,” the Leader stated.
Russian special presidential envoy Zamir Kabulov warned on 1 February that some 7,000 terrorists and thousands of reservists of ISIS currently reside in Afghanistan,.
“We have been carefully monitoring the genesis of the Afghan wing of ISIS over the past three years…The ISIS has nearly 7,000 active fighters, without taking into account several thousands of reservists,” Kabulov told the Rossiya-24 TV channel. The Taliban fighters’ number in Afghanistan currently stands at around 60,000 or 70,000, he noted.
The Afghan government and the foreign troops stay idle on detecting the ISIS reservists, the diplomat said.
“This is a serious case. The ISIS members have come to Afghanistan not for Jihad against the US and other foreign troops, they have come to set up a foothold for their further expansion to the north, to Central Asia,” he said, noting that most IS group’s fighters in Afghanistan come from Central Asia or Russia.