The member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plan to carry out Operation Mercenary, a counter-terrorist operation aimed at neutralizing terrorist resource bases on the territory of the CSTO member states, CSTO Acting Secretary General Valery Semerikov told TASS in an interview on Wednesday.
"The plan of comprehensive operational-preventive activities code-named Operation Mercenary to shut down channels for recruitment and entry/departure for citizens from CSTO countries for participation in the activity of international terrorist organizations was prepared and coordinated. The resource bases of terrorists in the CSTO’s responsibility zone will be also neutralized," he said.
In 2018, CSTO experts in cooperation with intelligence service and law enforcement authorities analyzed the activity of international terrorists, Semerikov said. Operation Mercenary was prepared based on this analysis. "The plan for the operation was prepared already, and the corresponding coordinating centers were created in the states. Everything is ready for the operation that will involve all CSTO states," he noted, adding that the period and stages of the operation will not be disclosed so far.
The CSTO forwarded the initiative to carry out Operation Mercenary in 2017. In 2018, the planning of this joint anti-terrorist operation was carried out. It will be aimed at fighting with members of Islamic State, a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia, who are trying to move from Syria to the territory of the states located in the CSTO’s zone of responsibility.