Central Asian Neighbors Train Against Terrorism


Working together to solve a regional security issue, the armed forces of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan held a counterterrorism exercise called Commonwealth 2020 in March 2020.

During the four-day exercise at Fakhrobod training grounds in southern Tajikistan, Uzbek Minister of Defense Bakhodir Kurbanov and Tajik Minister of Defense Sherali Mirzo expressed satisfaction at the joint display of combat effectiveness.

Participants eliminated a hypothetical terrorist group, conducted a hostage-rescue operation, and repelled a simulated attack by illegal gangs at the Tajik-Uzbek border. Border guard units and the Tajik Air Force played a supporting role.

This was the third major anti-terrorist military exercise between Tajik and Uzbek forces over the past three years. The first was in September 2018 at the Chorrukh-Dayron and Nurafshon training grounds in northern Tajikistan, followed by another exercise at Fakhrobod in southwestern Tajikistan in April 2019.

Military cooperation between the two countries was necessitated by the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have expressed concern about potential incursions of terrorist groups from Afghanistan into the two Central Asian states.

“Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the outposts of Central Asia, and the heads of our states are doing everything possible to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Mirzo said during a previous training event. “At the same time, we are actively building up our capability to oppose terrorism in all its manifestations.”

Both countries increasingly view bilateral military cooperation as an important means to protect national and regional security.

Sources: Avesta, UzNews, Kun.uz, Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States

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