01.10.2022

Russia Says Syria, Libya Fighters Deployed to Karabakh Conflict

Russia’s foreign ministry said Wednesday that fighters from Syria and Libya were being deployed to the Nagorny Karabakh conflict and that it was “deeply concerned” by the development.

“Fighters of illegal armed groups including from Syria and Libya are being deployed to the Nagorny Karabakh conflict zone in order to directly take part in fighting,” the foreign ministry said.

“We are deeply concerned by these processes which not only escalate tensions in the conflict zone further but create long-lasting threats to security for all countries in the region.”

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces are engaged in the heaviest fighting in years over Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian province that broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey of sending “mercenaries” to Karabakh.

The Russian statement made no mention of Turkey, but called on the “leadership of interested states” to take measures to prevent “foreign terrorists and mercenaries” from being involved in the conflict.

Russia Says U.S. Troop Pullout from Afghanistan Risks ‘Escalation’

Russia said Wednesday that Washington’s plan to pull out troops from Afghanistan by September could lead to an escalation of the long-running conflict and derail peace talks.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced earlier this week that all American forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by this year’s 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded Wednesday saying that an American pullout in September amounted to a “clear violation” of a previous U.S. promise to withdraw troops by next month.

The drawdown, finally ending America’s longest war despite mounting fears of a Taliban victory, delays by around five months an agreement with the Taliban inked by former president Donald Trump to pull troops.

“What is concerning in this context is that the armed conflict in Afghanistan might escalate in the near future, which in turn might undermine efforts to start direct intra-Afghan negotiations,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Under the Trump administration’s February 2020 deal with the Taliban insurgent group, all U.S. troops were to leave by May 2021 in return for the insurgents’ promise not to back Al-Qaeda and other foreign extremists — the original reason for the 2001 invasion.

Biden’s decision came as Turkey said it will host a U.S.-backed peace conference from April 24-May 4 that would bring together the Afghan government, the Taliban and international partners.

Moscow said it had been notified of the conference and was awaiting a formal invitation and more information including the event’s agenda.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.