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Dushanbe – AFP
On Thursday, Tajikistan mobilized its entire army to check the readiness of its elements, in a combat maneuver, the first of its kind in the country, in light of the deteriorating situation in neighboring Afghanistan and the progress of the Taliban movement.
The army and security forces, as well as reservists, some 230,000 soldiers, have been mobilized across the country to participate in the exercise dubbed “Mars-2021”.
All the soldiers gathered in an area where their readiness to fight was verified, according to local media, and official channels broadcast the maneuver overseen by President Imam Ali Rahman.
Rahman said in a speech at the end of the exercise: “The situation in Afghanistan, especially in the northern regions bordering our country, is still very unstable and is getting more complicated by the day. But hour after hour.”
“This complicated situation in this way sets a precedent for 43 years of ongoing clashes in Afghanistan,” he added. He blamed the 40-year-old foreign interference and stressed that the conflict can only be resolved through peaceful means.
And the official news agency “Khovar” reported that the authorities had sent another 20,000 soldiers to the border with Afghanistan.
Rahman later spoke with his Russian ally, President Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin said the two leaders were discussing the situation in Afghanistan and that the contact was at the initiative of Tajiks.
Tajikistan shares about 1,200 kilometers of border with Afghanistan; Since early May last year, the Taliban have launched an attack on several axes using the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, which is expected to be completed by the end of August next year.
The Taliban insurgents managed to control large areas despite weak resistance from the exhausted Afghan forces, which have no US air cover for their operations.
More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers and hundreds of civilians have sought refuge in Tajikistan since the beginning of the month after fleeing their areas due to the advance of the Taliban.
Russia, which has a military base in Tajikistan, will participate in a joint military exercise with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which in turn borders Afghanistan, early next month.
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