The rise of the Islamic State in Jawzjan province over the past year has threatened the Taliban’s operations in the Afghan north.
The standoff between the police and Hezbollah Brigades may portend an upcoming power struggle between Iraq’s established security forces and the Iranian-supported Shia militias that make up the Popular Mobilization Units.
At least four other US Special Forces personnel, as well as a Somali special forces soldier, were also wounded. The Special Forces soldiers were ambushed in an area that is a known Shabaab stronghold.
The IJU is the second foreign jihadist group to highlight joint battlefield operations with the Afghan Taliban in recent weeks.
Turkistan Islamic Party fighters, alongside the Afghan Taliban, released a video showing the combined forces overrunning remote Afghan military outposts in mountainous terrain.
Khattab al Masri, a foreign fighter who sided with Omar Hammami during his dispute with Shabaab, reconciled with the terrorist group and was killed while fighting Ethiopian forces in 2016.
The report also notes that the US State Department has pressed the Iraqi government for the return of the tanks, but this has not happened.
The explosion, which took place as Somail police were parading, killed at least 18 people and wounding at least another 15. Shabaab claimed credit for the attack.