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Concerns in Afghanistan As ISK Expands Presence in the North

Published Dec 06, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

The Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK) the local arm of the Islamic State which has now fragmented is reported to have expanded presence in Northern Afghanistan after having been largely neutralised in Nangarhar in the East.

Tolonews Reported that Abdul Rashid Dostum, first vice president, at a gathering in Jawzjan said that a large-scale military operation will be launched in the north of Afghanistan against “insurgents.” Gen. Dostum said that in the past three months in Sheberghan, the capital of the Jawzjan, “Daesh” fighters have increased their influence in north of the country.

Earlier General Austin Scott Miller, commander of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan, and acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid, met with Gen. Dostum in Jawzjan and discussed the security situation in the north of Afghanistan. “We discussed the situation in the north where the security threat is at a high level.” Dostum told reporters, adding: “After the meeting, will let you know when and where the operation will be launched.”

Daesh insurgents have increased their activities in Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Balkh and Samangan provinces, according to the local officials. Faryab-Jawzjan and Jawzjan-Balkh highways are insecure, and the residents of the provinces have been urged to stay off the highways as per the Tolonews Report.

In a major success for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK), the West Asia based Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate has collapsed in the eastern Nangarhar province reports Jeff Seldin for the Voice of America

“Afghan government and coalition operations against the group, along with the Taliban’s campaign … led to ISIS-Khorasan’s collapse in Nangarhar and the surrender of hundreds of fighters to Afghan forces,” a senior counterterrorism official told VOA, using an acronym for the group days after the affiliate back Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi ‘certainly one of those of most concern’

“Surrendered [Islamic State] fighters said they were told to leave Nangarhar for Kunar [province], where we assess the group still maintains a presence, as well as the northern provinces of Afghanistan,” the official added.