ISIS’s next destination

(Faisal Zaman, Islamabad)

No doubt, Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) has failed its foot in Syria. All the main cities of Syria which were occupied by Daesh –Arabic name for ISIS, is now under the control of Syrian government led by Bashr Ul Assad- president of Syria. After facing defeat in Syria, ISIS is digging its roots in war thorn region in the surrounding. No doubt, two countries were on the driving seat for making peace in Syria. These two countries are Russia and Iran. According to various reports, ISIS is paving the way for its roots towards different countries like Lebanon, China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The US military is allegedly allowing members of the ISIS, which have suffered serious defeats in Syria and neighboring Iraq, to infiltrate Afghanistan even as US is engaged with peace talks with Taliban for sake of stability in the landlocked country.

There are allegations that weapons are often transferred to the territory of Afghanistan by helicopters without identifying insignia. With the US and NATO fully controlling the skies over Afghanistan, there is every reason to believe they had a hand in that, or at least, did not hamper these flights, sources alleged.

In early April security officials in Afghanistan arrested a group of six media activists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Kabul. Detained individuals were involved in pro-ISIS activities in social media networks, mainly spreading propagandas on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram.

According to recent reports, Afghan officials arrested 10 other ISIS facilitators during a separate operation in Nangarhar province. Accordingly, 12,500 kilograms of explosives were seized during the same operation. Afghan Special Forces, ISIS and the Taliban are preparing for a three-way battle in eastern Afghanistan. ISIS started an offensive against the Taliban few weeks ago in Kunar province - a fight that has displaced more than 20,000 people.

The term Levant refers to the geographic region in the Middle East that includes Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. If ISIS seeks to expand its caliphate outside Iraq and Syria, it will move further into the Levant.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had once told al-Jazeera television news network that the US is colluding with Daesh in Afghanistan, and allowing the Takfiris to flourish in his conflict-stricken country.

“In my view, under the full [US] presence, surveillance, military, political, intelligence, Daesh has emerged. And for two years, the Afghan people came, cried loud about their suffering, of violations. Nothing was done,” he said.

Karzai further noted that US officials used Daesh as an excuse to drop an 11-ton GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, nicknamed the ‘Mother of all Bombs’, in Achin district of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar on April 13, 2017.

There are allegations that an estimated 10,000 members of the Takfiri terrorist group were present in Afghanistan, and that their number was growing. Afghanistan’s neighbours are worried over this development.

Iranian top official says “ISIS’s next target would be Afghanistan and Pakistan”. Central Asian states also making breeding ground for ISIS, he added.

Former president Hamid karzia spoke in his interview to BBC urdu where he said” ISIS is the creation of United States Of America”. It is Washington who finance ISIS inside Afghanistan “.he added.

"I consider Daesh their tool," Karzai told VOA's Afghan service in an exclusive interview in Kabul, using the Arabic acronym for IS. "I do not differentiate at all between Daesh and America."

While talking to Russia Today, he said that “All afghan were not happy with the use of Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) by Donald trump administration”. he added that the use of” MOAB was a direct threat to North Korea and indicating US power to North Korea”.

According to the reports of Foreign Policy Magazine “China may seem like a strange target for the Islamic terrorist group”. It has no real military footprint in the Middle East, and while Beijing is getting more involved in the region's energy business.

To sum up, ISIS is planning for making its roots in South East Asia particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, officials both civil and military in Pakistan have denied any existence of Daesh on Pakistan’s soil. Although there is reports about wall-chalking of Daesh in big cities of Punja, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As reports shows that ISIS has strong might in different provinces of Afghanistan, especially Nangarhar. If this case then Pakistan may be affected hugely as we already witness such repercussion in the shape of Taliban infiltration across the border. To suppress this existential threat both Pakistan and Afghanistan should come forward and make a clear strategy for cutting down the wings of ISIS.

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