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Defence Minister says Georgia faces no threat from IS

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 29
Georgia’s Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli says that the radical Islamist Group known as the Islamic State ( IS) does not pose any risk for Georgia amid tension at the Turkish borders.

“We have no information concerning any threats,” she says.

She claims that any state has its own document of threats and in the case of significant danger, the responsibility rests with the security services and the Interior Ministry.

“However, we are always alert if our support is required,” she said and reiterated that no threats have yet been reported.

“Tourist season is going very well and I am sure that we will have a stable and safe situation,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, recent reports of the US Department of States read that Georgia still remains as a transit country for terrorism due to Georgia’s geopolitical location and strategic significance.

The most challenging part of the country in this regard is the Muslim-inhabited Pankisi Gorge.

The locals state that there are certain groups in the region that recruit youngsters to join the IS in Iraq and Syria.

There are no official statistics. However, based on unofficial information, up to hundred young men from the gorge left the country and are fighting for the extremists; up to ten have already been killed in the course of offensives.

Analysts say that the major obstacle for the Islamic State (which is extremely intolerant of Christians) is Turkey.

The BBC claims that the Turkish president has said that Turkey cannot continue the peace process with the Kurds amid attacks by Kurdish militants on Turkish targets.

It comes as the NATO alliance discusses Turkey's campaigns against the Islamic State (IS) group and Kurdish militants.

Turkey has been hit by a series of attacks - including 32 killed by IS-linked militants in the Kurdish-majority town of Suruc on 20 July.

Turkey is backing plans for a buffer zone on the border with Syria.

As well as targeting IS militants, the zone would also allow Turkey to hit positions held by the outlawed Kurdish PKK group.

Turkey says it draws no distinction between the PKK and IS, considering them both terrorist organisations.

“Over the past week, analysts say, Turkey has turned its approach to the US-led coalition against IS on its head.

“Previously a reluctant partner, it is now flying combat missions and making its airbases available to US jets,” BBC reads.