Fight against Islamic State: Is Taliban helping out Russia?

The fight against Islamic State seems to have taken Russia to the doorstep of Taliban. In an effort to knock off the IS, Moscow is reaching out to Taliban which it says is to exchange intelligence, claims report.

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2015, 20:25 PM IST
Fight against Islamic State: Is Taliban helping out Russia?

New Delhi: The fight against Islamic State seems to have taken Russia to the doorstep of Taliban. In an effort to knock off the IS, Moscow is reaching out to Taliban which it says is to exchange intelligence, claims report.

According to a CNN report, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that the contact between Moscow and the Afghan Taliban only involves intelligence-sharing and information exchange regarding the fight against ISIS.

In recent times, ISIS has gained strength in Afghanistan.

"The ties between ISIS and the insurgency in the north Caucasus, the fact that there are people from the north Caucasus fighting in Syria -- maybe not as many as the Russian government says, but certainly a good number, including in leadership roles -- means that Russia does see ISIS and a lot of the other Islamist groups as a particular threat, in a way that maybe the Taliban isn't. So the Russians may think they (the Taliban) are the lesser of the available evils," Olga Oliker of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington was quoted as saying by CNN.

However, Taliban has denied any contact with the Russian government. It has denied needing any support in the fight against ISIS, but opened options of requesting assistance from other nations.