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In contrast, the United States has provided $7.7 billion in aid for Syria and Syrians displaced throughout the region.

Attendees included 40 government delegations and 318 international defence contractors.

The move is part of the country's efforts to fight extremism online, say officials and observers, though some users are pushing back against the broad ban.

Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of US Central Command, praised Tajik authorities for their work on border security and their commitment to regional stability, both of which are important for the development of Central Asia.

Moscow is using the threat of terrorism as a pretext for building up its presence in Central Asia, but the reality may be more self-serving, analysts say.

The one-week course focused on developing skills 'needed to locate and collect evidence, reconstruct a device and leverage international co-operation' in post-blast investigations.

Every citizen in Kazakhstan is required to provide his or her personal data to mobile phone carriers by December 31.

The Kremlin is backing Tehran's sectarian agenda in an attempt to claw its way back into relevancy in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.

Astana is seeing a potential threat from the Kremlin to its territorial integrity and is betting on more reliable partners in the West, Kazakhstani observers say.

Russia prevented access to inspectors for a full two weeks, but specialists say they will be able to identify any use of chemical weapons or any tampering with evidence.

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