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Georgia denies that ISIS fighters are mobilized in Pankisi Gorge

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, December 18
The Head of the Parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili, has responded to a statement of Davit Sanakoev, the Head of South Ossetia’s de-facto government, who said that ISIS fighters have been mobilizing in the Pankisi Gorge.

According to Sesiashvili, Sanakoev is just trying to provoke Georgia and his statement is a lie.

“The statement made by Sanakoev is pure provocation. Everyone knows that the Georgian government is not engaged in any issue related to state terrorism. This statement is aimed to create a tense situation and simply cancel the Ergneti talks,” stated Sesiashvili.

Sanakoev said that different activities from the ISIS fighters are planned for the days celebrating New Year.

“We have information that ISIS fighters have already arrived in Pankisi Gorge. As well as attacking government targets, they may cause problems to peaceful civilians too,” stated Sanakoev.

Sanakoev made the statement after the 61st meeting in Ergneti, wherein the Georgian side raised the issue of border violations by Russian aircraft on December 10.

He said after the meeting with the Incidents Prevention Group in the village of Ergneti, ISIS fighters have been mobilizing in the Pankisi Gorge, which threatens the Russian military base and border guards in South Ossetia.

The 61st meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism was held in Ergneti.

According to the Office of State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality, the Georgian party raised the issue of the violation of the airspace controlled by the central government of Georgia by a Russian helicopter, and presented relevant photos and video footage.

The participants of the meeting also discussed the incidents that took place after the previous meeting and the need for the resumption of the three-way format for discussion of issues of missing individuals.

The next (62nd) Ergneti talks will be held on January 20, 2016.