Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan clashes: 100 dead
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Approximately 100 deaths have occurred since border clashes erupted between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Hence, another part of the former Soviet Union is fraying – similar to ongoing convulsions created by the British Empire, Ottoman Empire, and others that altered regional dynamics.
The Russian Federation is an ally of both nations. Thus President Vladimir Putin is calling for restraint and to de-escalate immediately.
Reuters reports, “The former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute on Sept. 14-16, accusing each other of using tanks, mortars, rocket artillery, and assault drones to attack outposts and nearby settlements.”
The Jamestown Federation highlighted the drone warfare angle earlier this year. This think tank reported (Vali Kaleji), “Tajikistan experienced several violent border incidents and tensions with Kyrgyzstan over the past year (see EDM, June 21, 2021). In response, Kyrgyzstan was the first Central Asian country to purchase the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat UAV (Middle East Eye, November 5, 2021). It seems that the development of Kyrgyzstan’s defense and security cooperation with Turkey as members of the Organization of Turkic States, as well as the publicized success of Turkish drones in the Second Karabakh War and in Ukraine, played a significant role in the Tajikistani government’s decision to open an Iranian drone plant in Dushanbe.”
Last year, approximately 50 people were killed in border clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Both nations share a border with China. While Tajikistan also shares a border with Afghanistan. Hence, Tajikistan is concerned about the ethnic Tajik angle in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan.
Tass News reports, “Chiefs of the Kyrgyz and Tajik National Security Committees have signed a protocol on the stabilization of the situation on the border and the establishment of peace between the two countries, Turmush agency said on Monday, citing the chief of Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee Kamchybek Tashiyev.”
Events erupted when border guards from Tajikistan were reported to be in a section encompassing Bulak-Bashy(Kyrgyzstan) in the region of Batken. However, when border guards from Kyrgyzstan requested that Tajikistan border guards should leave – the crisis spiraled into armed clashes.
Military clashes also erupted in the environs of Kak-Sai, Paksy-Aryk, and Osh.
All sides need to restrain from further clashes. Also, the conflict highlights the drone warfare angle involving Iran and Turkey.
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