US occupation forces in Syria in April 2018 (Photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)
US occupation forces in Syria have been training at least 60 militants affiliated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda at Al-Tanf base to carry out attacks inside the territory of former Soviet states, according to Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
“According to credible data received by the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, the US military is actively recruiting militants from jihadist groups affiliated with [ISIS] and Al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia and the CIS countries,” an SVR statement released on 13 February reads.
The militants are reportedly undergoing a “fast-track training course” to learn how to make and use improvised explosive devices and subversive methods.
“Particular emphasis is paid to planning attacks on heavily guarded facilities, including foreign diplomatic missions,” the SVR statement adds, stressing that Washington’s plans involve deploying small groups of militants to Russia and other former Soviet nations that make up the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The plot reportedly calls for the cooperation of international terror organizations, including Hizb ut-Tahrir, Jamaat Ansarullah, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
“Such actions put Washington on par with major international terrorist groups,” the SVR statement concludes.
The accusation by Moscow comes just days after investigative journalist Seymour Hersh disclosed that the US government executed a covert deep-sea operation last year to bomb Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia has accused the US of training hundreds of extremist militants belonging to ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in their occupation bases in Syria before deploying to the battlefield in Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said last year that mercenaries and military specialists from 64 countries are involved in hostilities in Ukraine.
Foreign mercenaries from around the globe joined Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for global assistance following Russia’s military invasion, with many of these mercenaries coming from Israel.
The US army has long been accused of offering support to ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria.
In August of 2022, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council that the withdrawal of US occupation forces from Syria would “do away” with the presence of terror groups.
“The withdrawal of US occupation forces from Syrian territory would mean a swift and inevitable elimination of the terrorist presence in this much-suffering country and of terrorist networks in neighboring states,” the Russian envoy said.