About 1,600 people who have sworn allegiance to Daesh have brought under control large parts of four provinces situated to the south of Jalalabad. As the Times correspondent noted, Daesh is acting in the country under the strategies they tested in Iraq and Syria: imperceptible infiltration of the militants in the region followed by the seizure of the area.
According to media reports, terrorists acting with extreme brutality, including the use of torture and executions, forced thousands of local residents to abandon their houses and flee for safety. The attempts of Afghanistan’s army to restrain the militants are complicated by significant casualties among servicemen with up to 500 deaths each month.
“ISIL [Daesh] in Afghanistan are the flag of convenience for disaffected Taliban, Pakistani Taliban, and an assortment of Chechen and Uzbek fighters,” a senior diplomat in Kabul told The Times. “ISIL here has money, more money than the Taliban for reasons we do not quite understand.”
A US Department of Defense spokesperson told the Times that the Pentagon is well informed about the presence of militants affiliated with Daesh in Afghanistan.
“[W]e are monitoring closely to see whether their emergence will have a meaningful impact on the threat environment in the region,” the spokesperson said.