The US armed forces chief in Afghanistan has confirmed that Russia is sending weapons to the Taliban in that country, which is the earliest confirmation of Russian support for Islamic militants with whom Afghan and American forces have been fighting for 15 years.

"We continue to receive reports on this assistance," he replied to the journalist's questioning, and continued, "We support anyone who wants to advance the process of reconciliation, sending weapons to attackers is not the best way forward for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. "

A senior military officer from the Pentagon anonymously told the Washington Post that Russia increased its consignments of equipment and light weapons to the Taliban over the last 18 months.

The explanation Russia offered is that Taliban weapons, including medium and heavy machine guns, will be used to fight the militant Islamic State in Afghanistan. But instead, the weapon showed up in the south of the country, in the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, where ISIS is present, said the official.

"Any shipwreck from a foreign country would be considered a violation of international law unless it comes from the Afghan government," US Defense Minister James Mattis commented, who shared a joint press conference with Nicholson.

Nicholson has previously criticized Russia for giving 'legitimacy' to an armed group

Moscow has, in fact, confessed that it is in contact with the Taliban, which, after 15 years of almost continuous war, continues to hold a substantial part of Afghanistan.

Although Russian-Taliban cooperation allegedly does not include weapons and money, at least for now, it is understandable that US military commanders in Afghanistan are upset by this development. General John Nicholson, the supreme US commander in Afghanistan, warned that Russia in this way supports an "open" legitimacy to the Taliban fight against legitimate Afghan authorities.

"The Russian narrative goes this way somehow: that the Taliban are the ones who are fighting the Islamic State, not the Afghan government. So this public legitimacy that Russia provides to the Taliban is not based on facts but is used as a way to really submerge Afghan governments," Nicholson told the Pentagon last month.

Taliban: Russia backed them since 2008

Moreover, the Taliban officially revealed to Reuters that Russian aid has been ongoing for years: "When Russia started to support us in early 2008, ISIS did not exist anywhere in the world, and its only reason was to strengthen us in the fight against the United States and its allies." The situation in Afghanistan has drastically deteriorated since former US President Barrack Obama declared the end of the "combat mission" in that country in 2014. The government is now controlling only about two-thirds of the territory, and civilians are complaining about tribal conflicts, widespread corruption, and a Taliban "shadow government."