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Russia concerned over IS spread in Afghanistan

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As the Islamic State (IS) is making inroads in Afghanistan, Russia is considering it a growing risk to Central Asia.

The head of Russian’s Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, said the militants in Afghanistan who have switched sides to IS pose a growing threat to Central Asia. He also said the IS originated from the Arab Spring, but this terror network gained momentum from the duplicity of certain world powers.

This is no denying the fact the United States supported the IS for protecting its interests in the Middle East. The 9/11 attacks happened against a backdrop of much chaos and instability in the Middle East because of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The US has had historically supported Israel whereas Russia has had friends in Arab regimes.

By destabilizing the Middle East, the US succeeded in establishing Israel a biggest military might in the Middle East. However, when Russia came to the fore and started protecting its friend—Syria’s Bashar-ul-Asad, it raised many eyebrows in the US and also in Saudi Arabia. Russia’s Putin wished to resume Moscow’s power status, following 9/11 attacks when the US waged a global war on terror. At home, Putin succeeded in preventing decomposition of Russia while on regional and international front, he resumed its historic role in the Middle East. Here he differs from his predecessors because he started working on forwarding Russia into superpower status, but based on nationalism instead of the Soviet-style communism. This time Russia could have successfully restored alliances with its historic friends in the Middle East, a region with a long history of Russian interests and presence, but the United States and Saudi Arabia came together in forming a force of fanatics, a force they have already tested and used in Afghanistan. By creating a force of fanatics, the US wanted to pursue a multi-faceted objective whereas Saudi Arabia wanted to combat Iranian influence in the Middle East.

When the US was once again investing in the forces of terrorism, Russia and Jordan agreed to create a coordination center in Amman, which will be used by the two for sharing information in counter terrorism operations. Russia has already been in contact with Iran, Iraq, and Syria through a Baghdad-based center used for the same objectives. When the US saw the Middle East is skipping away from its hands, it warned Iraq not to ally with Russia against ISIS. The warning was intimidating. “If your ally with Russia against ISIS, you are our enemy,” this is what Iraq was told. It means US President makes it clear that America’s war against Russia is more crucial than its war against ISIS.

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on October 14 that the US government had turned down the proposal from President Vladimir Putin for the US and Russia to cooperate together to eliminate ISIS and other jihadists in Syria and in Iraq. Now that Russia feels uneasy at the development of Islamic State in Afghanistan and if Russia offers cooperation to US in Afghanistan, how Washington will receive it? And if Afghanistan needs Russia’s support in its fight against terrorism, and forms alliance with Russia will the US threatens Afghanistan the way it threatened Iraq?