Above all, it was a message: a reminder of Ankara’s determination to limit US cooperation with the Kurds, Washington’s most effective partner against the Islamic State in Syria.
The former Afghan Taliban shadow governor for Badakhshan province appears in a new propaganda video featuring recent clashes in Warduj District. Taliban fighters show off captured Afghan army and police vehicles and eulogize the jihadist leader who was killed last summer.
The Islamic State praised Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay and senior Taliban commander, and vowed to avenge his death.
Hafiz Wahidi was the deputy emir for the Islamic State’s Khorasan province. His predecessor was killed in a US airstrike in Helmand last month.
The Islamic State claims it operates in multiple Afghan provinces, and runs a training camp in Farah.
The creation of the “Marg” militia appears to be a part of a growing trend of the re-arming of warlords and the defunct Northern Alliance as Afghans fear the resurgence of the Taliban and an increasing threat from the Islamic State.
Boko Haram has attacked Niger for the first time. Fierce counterattacks by Chadian and Nigerian forces reportedly killed over 100 Boko Haram fighters. A Chadian general was also wounded in the battle.
Chadian forces crossed the border and stormed several towns held by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. Fierce fighting has reportedly killed hundreds of insurgents over the past week. Battles continue in several strategic towns in the Lake Chad area.