ISIS acting quietly to expand presence in Afghanistan — Russian envoy

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KABUL (TCA) — The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are acting quietly in Afghanistan as the terrorist group plans to use the country for wider expansion, Khaama Press Afghan News Agency reported last week citing Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan.

The remarks by Kabulov came as the loyalists of the terror group had received major setbacks during the recent months as a result of the coordinated air and group operations of Afghan and US forces.

However, Kabulov said the loyalists of the group are expanding in Afghanistan and wish to use the country as a “springboard for a wider expansion”.

“[Daesh] exists [in Afghanistan]. It flourishes and expands. It just acts quietly and gathers strength for decisive actions,” he told the Izvestiya newspaper last week.

Kabulov further added that Daesh has fewer militants than Taliban, but it does not spend its resources on fighting Afghan and US servicemen in the country.

“They have other aims. They need Afghanistan as a springboard for a wider expansion,” Kabulov explained.

This comes as the officials earlier said the terror group is attempting to establish a regional operational base in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan as the loyalists of the group are trying to consolidate operations with the terror group in Syria and Iraq.

The concerns prompted the Obama administration to grant more authorities to the US forces in Afghanistan to increase air strikes against the terror group with reports suggesting the US Air Force has dropped more than 250 bombs and missiles in January and February targeting ISIS loyalists.

Sergey Kwan

TCA