Kholayat Khorasan, a branch of the terror group Islamic State has begun strengthening its position in eastern and northern Afghanistan, according to a statement by Mir Haidar Afzali, a former chairman of the Afghanistan House of Representatives defense committee.
The terrorist group is trying to recruit young people in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
“The most dangerous members of Islamic State, arrested in the past by Afghan forces, have been released from prison and are now calling on young people to cooperate with them,” tweeted Afzali.
According to many Afghan experts, prisoners, including hundreds of ISIS supporters have been released from prison following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan midst the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.
While currently the terrorists fighters from the Islamic State are not well equipped but this could change in the future, said Afzali.
He went on to add, “It seems that the projects for extremism in Afghanistan are not over yet”.
Taliban not in full control of Afghanistan
According to several field sources, the National Front for Resistance is pushing back the Taliban midst fierce clashes in the Andarab Valley in Balk, northeastern Afghanistan.
“There is currently a fierce battle between the Taliban and the National Resistance Front in Andarab. There are casualties on both sides, the exact number of casualties is unknown,” reads a Twitter message.
According to other field sources, clashes with the Taliban are also taking place in several other districts, including Puli-Hisar and Dih-Salah in the province of Baglan.
Both sides have suffered heavy casualties.
While the Taliban has yet to comment on the clashes, they have posted videos on social media showing their terrorist fighters heading towards Andarab Valley.
In a tweet, the Taliban Ministry of Defense stated, Ataula Omari has been appointed as commander of the Mazar-e-Sharif Corps, which is located at the base of the former 209th Corps of the Afghan National Army “Shahin” in the suburbs of Mazar-e-Sharif, at the center of Balkh province; the corps is responsible for the security in the northern part of Afghanistan.
What contributed to this mess?
On August 31, US President Joe Biden declared that the United States has defeated the al Qaeda terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks and commanded US troops to leave the country.
The statement though is in stark contrast to reality. According to a US intelligence report, there are at least 20 terrorist groups that are currently operating in Afghanistan; they have been radicalized over the last 2 decades due to the presence of foreign troops in the country. According to media reports, al Qaeda and the Islamic State are increasing their foothold in the country following the departure of US troops.
Before the US departure from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration had predicted that Kabul will fall within 6 months of their departure. Again, in contrast to their highly optimistic view, the Taliban gained control of almost the entire country within a month of US departure.
At present, the province of Panjshir has yet to be defeated by the Taliban. Anti-Taliban forces, led by Ahmad Massoud, have entrenched themselves in strong vantage points. It is the only province to remain Taliban-free.