IS to be defeated like Taliban, say security officials
They made the assertion at a ceremony marking the nationwide transfer of security responsibility from foreign troops to Afghan forces at a military base in the Dehdadi district of northern Balkh province.
Senior government and security officials attended the event. Gen. Zalmai Weesa, the 209th Shaheen Military Corps commander, told Pajhwok Afghan News on the sidelines of the ceremony the Taliban had no logical reason to continue fighting.
He said Afghan forces had assumed full charge of security responsibilities in northern Afghanistan, where every security plan was drawn and executed by the Afghan security forces themselves.
The security transition began in the north two years ago and was completed in four phases in all the nine northern provinces, he said.
Gen. Weesa said successful phases of the security switch and a peaceful conduct of the presidential and provincial council elections showed Afghan forces had the ability to maintain security in the north.
He said Afghan forces were currently busy implementing the winter security plan in the north, where search operations based on intelligence reports were underway in Badakhshan, Kunduz, Baghlan, Balkh, Jawzjan and Faryab provinces.
The commander rejected the presence of IS fighters in the north. He said they had heard about the emergence of IS-linked groups in the north through western media, but they had not come across with any such group so far.
He said if the IS launched its terrorist activities in the north, the group would meet the Taliban’s fate of defeat and Afghan forces would protect the soil and the people.
The IS has been fighting government forces in Iraq and Syria. Some reports suggest groups claiming allegiance to the IS have emerged in some parts of Afghanistan.
At the ceremony in Dehdadi district, Lt. Gen. Murad Ali Murad, the head of ground forces, said the IS was trying to disarm Taliban groups and bring them under its influence.
He said reports reaching them suggested the IS had started its activities in some southern province and was trying to find a foothold in the north.
He said the IS wanted to turn Afghanistan into a strong battle field and use its borders against others.
Murad said there had been clashes between IS and Taliban fighters in Helmand and Zabul provinces and said the IS was trying to initiate its activities in northeastern Badakhshan province.
Referring to the full handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces, Murad said the miscreants had been left with no excuse to continue waging the war.
He said the Taliban had lost all their abilities to fight against the Afghan military in the north and the IS would meet the same fate.
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