2019-10-30 11:42:00

CSTO fears Islamists who fled from Kurdish custody might migrate to Central Asia

Moscow, October 30, Interfax - The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) fears that fighters of the ISIL terrorist organization (banned in Russia) who fled from Kurdish custody might migrate to Central Asia, acting CSTO Secretary General Valery Semerikov told the press.

"These are not just forecasts but the actual reality: various kinds of fighters, including those with origins in CSTO member states, have suffered a defeat and are returning to home countries," Semerikov said in response to Interfax's question whether the CSTO was expecting a surge in the number of terrorist fighters operating in its territory after the exacerbation of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict in Syria.

"Speaking of the return of fighters, Central Asia runs the highest risk in the CSTO zone of responsibility. This is related to Afghanistan, in the first turn," Semerikov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the problem of captive ISIL fighters in October.

"ISIL fighters are concentrated in certain areas of northern Syria. Up till now they were guarded by the Kurdish militia. Now the Turkish army is arriving, and the Kurds are leaving those camps. They [the fighters] might flee," Putin said at the CIS summit in Ashgabat on October 11.

According to Russian Special Presidential Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev, about 12,000 ISIL members are held in prison camps guarded by the Kurds.