CNN tries to brew another scandal around Russia: it has come up with a report, claiming that the Russian government is allegedly arming the Taliban militants in Afghanistan, based on an interview with a ‘breakaway terrorist group in the West.’ Political analyst Rahimullah Yusufzai, explained to Sputnik what is the actual purpose of this report.
The CNN said it has obtained two videos, which show militants carrying Kalashnikovs, sniper rifles and machine guns.
One video allegedly features a “breakaway Taliban group in the West” with “what they say a Russian government-supplied weapons they seized from mainstream Taliban group, led by Mullah Haibatullah, they defeated.”
One of the fighters, an alleged deputy leader of the breakaway terrorist group Mullah Abdul Manan Niaz, is demonstrating a gun which he claims was “given to the fighters of Mullah Haibatullah by the Russians via Iran.”
“He says that Russians are giving them these weapons to fight ISIS (Islamic State, Daesh) in Afghanistan,” the report says. However the terrorist laments that the Taliban is using these weapons against their breakaway terrorist group.
The second video, which CNN says was shot nearer Kabul, “features a masked Taliban fighter parading arms he says he obtained through the northern province of Kunduz via neighboring Tajikistan, which were supplied by Russians.”
“These pistols have been brought to us recently,” the report quotes him as saying. “These are made in Russia, and are very good stuff.”
The broadcaster then admits that the videos feature “sniper rifles, Kalashnikov variants and heavy machine guns that weapons experts say are stripped of any means of identifying their origin.”
It further says that weapons experts from the Small Arms Survey, Switzerland-based source of impartial information on all aspects of small arms, studied the videos and said there was little in them to directly tie the guns to the Russian state.
“The weapons were not particularly modern or rare, and even some of the more elaborate additions, like a JGBG M7 scope on one machine gun, were Chinese made and readily available online,” the broadcaster quotes the experts as saying.
CNN however did not drop the idea that the weapons were supplied by Russia.
Sputnik Radio discussed the report with Rahimullah Yusufzai, political and security analyst and an expert on Taliban, who explained what is the actual purpose of such broadcasts.
“We should look at it as at an allegation right now. We have no proper evidence. However such speculations became very common after reports that Russia is trying to make contacts with Taliban. And after Russia organized conference in Moscow, inviting initially China and Pakistan, and then six countries neighboring Afghanistan, to try to think of all proposals for making Afghanistan peaceful again,” he told Sputnik.
Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly reiterated that “the West, namely the United States, have recently and frequently been writing materials about Russia’s alleged support for Taliban [terror organization outlawed in Russia] on Afghan territory.”
“We have repeatedly said that these materials are unfounded and stated Russia’s position on this matter clearly,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Russia talks to the Taliban purely to promote peace talks.
Rahimullah Yusufzai meanwhile noted that Russia’s role has increased in the region. Russia’s attempts to play a role to resolve the Afghan conflict have not been seen positively by the US and its allies. They don’t want any role for Russia, he said, or any other country, because the US wants to play a dominant role in Afghanistan, where they have had a physical presence for the last 16 years.
“We are hearing these allegations as the Americans are trying to review the situation in Afghanistan. Trump administration is trying to think of ways and means to end this conflict, because they actually don’t know what to do. They have failed to make Afghanistan peaceful,” he said.
The political analyst however noted that there are reports about very sophisticated American weapons ending up in the hands of Taliban.
Hence he suggested that the US is making the reports about alleged Russian weapons supplied to Taliban “out of desperation.” They don’t know what to do in Afghanistan, he reiterated. They tried a military option, which had not worked. They tried a political option. It had not worked either. And now they are thinking of sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Interestingly enough, while being designated as a terrorist group in Russia, Canada, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates, Taliban had not been declared a terrorist organization in the US, UK, France and China.
“The US is now trying to play a blame game. They want to say that because of the alleged Russian weapons supplies to Taliban, they have failed to win the war in Afghanistan,” the political analyst told Sputnik.
“They are trying to find excuses. They are putting the blame on others for its miserable failure in Afghanistan,” he finally stated.