The US military has invested significant resources in battling the Islamic State in Afghanistan, despite the fact that the group controls areas in just four districts in Nangarhar.
A team of five Islamic State inghimasi fighters terrorized the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital in Kabul yesterday. The hospital is “the largest military medical facility in Afghanistan,” according to the UN. The Islamic State’s so-called Khorasan province has launched other inghimasi attacks in Afghanistan in the past.
In the second episode of the “Brief Messages to a Victorious Ummah” series, Ayman al Zawahiri blasts the Islamic State for dividing the mujahideen’s ranks. Zawahiri, who is openly loyal to the Taliban’s emir, calls on Muslims to support the Taliban.
The US military claimed that Khan’s death and the operation in Nangarhar will hurt the group’s operations in Afghanistan. However the Islamic State’s inability to form alliances with the established jihadist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan has led to its isolation.
A senior Afghan military officer claimed that his forces killed Hafiz Saeed Khan, the emir for the Islamic State’s Khorasan province, during an ongoing military operation in the eastern province of Nangarhar. However Khan’s death cannot be independently confirmed.
Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who left the Islamic State late last year, claimed that Khorasan province became a tool of “regional intelligence agencies and started torturing innocent people.” He described the emir of Khorasan province as “illiterate” for approving attacks on civilians.
Several members of the Islamic State Khorasan Provinces’ “central council” as well as other senior and mid-level leaders based in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar have broken their oath to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and have rejoined the Taliban.
The US has treated the Islamic State Khorasan Province as a terrorist organization long before officially listing it. Four senior Khorasan Province leaders have been killed in US airstrikes over the past year.