The United States along with other western countries warned the people in Afghanistan of the ‘threat of attacks’ just a few hours before a series of bombings rocked the Kabul airport. However, it was not clear who was behind the bombing as Taliban was already upholding an agreement not to attack the evacuation sites and operations.
The finger was then pointed out at ISIS. Not only the troops of western countries were killed in the bombing, but many people of the Taliban militant group also died in the series of explosions. ISIS-K has been reportedly attacking the two sides, while US and Taliban reached a political deal to end the longest war. US and other western intelligence agencies anticipated that the ISIS attack on the Kabul airport was a political signal that the ISIS-Khorasan branch is not ‘fond’ of Taliban, rather unlike the ideologies of the militant group. The statement was made by former US special envoy, James Jeffrey to the global coalition against ISIS and director of the Middle East Programme at the Wilson Centre in Washington.
Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) first appeared in eastern Afghanistan in late 2014. The reputation of being ‘brutal’ was quickly established, even though the group was based in a country that faces extreme violence on regular basis.
The group in no time challenged the Taliban over control in the vital area and borders with Pakistan that were associated with smuggling illegal narcotics. As the series of attacks by ISIS-K were realized on militant forces and civilians, they established themselves as the ‘extreme group’, even more than the Taliban. Between 2015 and 2017, the group was allegedly responsible for more than 250 attacks on Pakistan, Afghan, and US troops in the region. While United Nations estimated that the group includes between 500 to 1,200 fighters, many other experts that the number might rise to 10,000 over the next few years.
As Taliban took over Afghanistan in recent attempts, ISIS threatened to attack the Kabul airport as many Afghans and other citizens were trying to flee the country. However, the link between ISIS and ISIS-K is still unclear in the Asian and Middle East region.
The Taliban claim to have taken over large areas of the country from ISIS-K and wiped out its members in Afghanistan’s north-western territory of Jowzjan. Some of the local sources in Afghanistan also stated that Taliban allegedly executed at least one senior official of ISIS-K as they took over the country. Keep reading AlShorts for more updated news from around the world in 30 seconds.