Image Source: www.embrussia.ru
In a interesting turn of events, the Russian foreign ministry recently claimed that there were reports of ‘unidentified’ helicopters supplying arms to ISIS in Afghanistan, soon before the group captured a strategic part of the Tora Bora mountain complex.
It is also being reported the helicopter might belong to the Afghan army, who is allegedly supporting the ISIS-Khorasan – a group known for its anti-Pakistan attacks and activities. Yet, at this point in time, nothing can be claimed with certainty as Afghan MP Zahir Qadir is blaming the US army for the ISIS supply of weapons.
Below is the official press release of Maria Zakharova, official spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry:
We’ve taken note of new reports about unmarked helicopters ferrying the fighters of ISIS Afghan branch, as well as weapons and munitions for them, in eastern Afghanistan.
On June 14, ISIS captured a large part of Tora Bora, a strategic cave and tunnel complex in the Pachir Aw Agam District of Nangarhar. Some reports say that shortly before this, unmarked helicopters delivered over 50 armed extremists to reinforce the fighters who were preparing an offensive on Tora Bora, as well as a container full of weapons and munitions.
MP Zahir Qadir, the lower house representative of the tribes whose fighters are defending the cave complex, has said publicly that these unmarked helicopters belong to the United States. He also said that the Tora Bora defenders had not received any real support from the Afghan government and its Western allies for nearly a week before the ISIS offensive.
It is symptomatic that neither the Afghan authorities nor the US and NATO military contingent officials in Afghanistan have offered a rational explanation for the increased number of flights made by unidentified helicopters providing support to ISIS fighters in many Afghan provinces. Silence in this case is becoming increasingly conspicuous.
I would like the Western media, including American journalists who have published so many reports about Russia’s alleged assistance to the Taliban and extremists in Afghanistan, to take note of this information. We have repeatedly denied these reports as ungrounded and have outlined Russia’s firm stance on this matter.
We would like these unidentified helicopters to appear not only in Afghanistan but also in the Western media. Dear colleagues, you have the opportunity to ask these questions in the Pentagon, the White House and the US State Department. I know that you are looking for Russian hackers, but you can now shift your attention to the helicopters. It is said in Afghanistan that these are US helicopters and that they deliver assistance not to moderate fighters or extremists, but directly to ISIS.