The Russians are supporting the Taliban in northern Afghanistan by sharing intelligence with the former leaders of Afghanistan and also by ferrying in weapons and equipment by helicopter and by boat. The later parts are denied by Russian government officials.

The head of the US Central Command, General Joseph Votel had stated earlier this year that the Russians are trying to peddle their influence and that they were sending arms and equipment to the Taliban forces in the north.

Moscow has openly stated that it has an intelligence-sharing relationship with the Taliban regarding the ISIS threat. But they have staunchly denied that the Russian military is aiding or arming the Taliban. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid also denied any Russian monetary or material assistance.

On Wednesday, the police chief of the northern province of Baghlan, Brig. Gen. Ikramuddin Sarai, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Russian and other foreign military advisers had arrived to support the Taliban amid heavy clashes. Similar reports surfaced last month in the southern province of Uruzgan, in which police chief Ghulam Farooq Sangari told Voice of America’s Afghan service that advisers — including two women dressed in doctor’s uniforms and guarded by four armed Taliban along with an Afghan translator — were in various locations. The accusation was denied by Russian officials.

However, another senior Afghan government security official told Fox News that they have solid, although classified, documents indicating Russia is supporting the Taliban through its ally Iran, under the rationale that they are trying to bring the terrorist group to the negotiating table to form a peace treaty similar to the one recently signed by militant group Hezb-e-Islami.

“Iran — a Shia country — has its advisers in the north,” an intelligence source told Fox News. “The small pockets of Shia in Afghanistan used to get attacked by the Taliban; now they are not harming them or forcing them to pay taxes.”

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Photo courtesy BBC