Tajikistan: The government withdraws troops from the Rasht valley
The government of Tajikistan started withdrawal of troops from the Rasht valley.
The source in the special services said that the forces, involved in special operation, conducted by governmental troops against the militants, are being pulled back. Some parts of the troops go back to the permanent base since there is no sharp necessity in their presence in eastern Tajikistan.
The trucks, loaded by soldiers, can be observed at the road, going from the Rasht valley to Dushanbe. According to Faridun Makhmadiev, the head of press-center under Tajik Defense Ministry, the soldiers, whose service term has expired, are going back home.
The Interior Ministry reported that only special police departments were involved in the special operation against the militants in eastern Tajikistan. "The internal troops are not involved in this operation because we have no one to return from Rasht", said Interior Ministry representative. Only the fighters of Special Police Forces of the Khatlon Oblast are listed as killed in this operation.
The members Alfa special task forces were also killed in this operation. At the same time, 20 fighters of this top group from State Committee for National Security died in the helicopter crash, which was transporting them to Rasht. 7 officers of National Guard were also killed in the accident. It has to be mentioned that 26 soldiers and officers (nearly all of them are troopers) were also killed in the Kamarob canyon.
In the opinion of experts, Tajik army used to be considered as one of the most competent in the region because it had civil war experience. However, the recent events in Rasht demonstrated that the army is not ready for the fight in the mountainous area. Faridun Makhmadiev said that Tajik Defense Ministry is going to establish military training centers in Rasht. These will be seasonal tent camps. He also added that "We have enough military presence in the Rasht valley, located by the second perimeter of border protection".