A ten-day trilateral military exercise involving military personnel of Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan completed in Tajikistan’s Khatlon province yesterday.

As it had been reported earlier, the war game involving 2,500 Russian, Tajik and Uzbek troops as well as tanks, armored personnel carriers, Su-25 attack jets, helicopters, and other weaponry began at the Harbmaidon training ground about 20 kilometers from the Afghan border. 

They rehearsed coordination and interaction in a joint combat mission against illegal armed formations that intervene into the territory of an ally country.

“The exercise was conducted against the background of the aggravation of the situation and the threat of penetration of radical terrorist groups into the border countries of the Central Asian region,” Commander of Russia’s Central Military District, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, said.

Russian general said the combined forces for the first time used tactics gained by Russian forces fighting in Syria.

Russia, which has a military base in Tajikistan, has vowed to defend its Central Asian allies against any security threat from Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are members of the Moscow-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).  Besides, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is dominated by China and Russia.

RFE/RL says the exercises followed smaller Russian-Uzbek drills held near Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan that concluded last week.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu reportedly said at a separate event on August 10 that Russian forces will continue to conduct regular drills with its Central Asian allies near the Afghan border.

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan bordering Afghanistan are concerned about security threats emanating from Afghanistan and the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to pour over the border.

The Taliban has sought to reassure neighboring countries and Russia that it poses no threat as it gains control over much of Afghanistan’s territory and captures provincial cities from the government in Kabul as U.S.-led forces leave the country.