Daesh trying to set-up regional base in Jalalabad: Campbell
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan government on Wednesday called for a joint regional fight against the self-styled Islamic State after the US and NATO top commander in Afghanistan said the group was trying to a set-up a base in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province.
The Afghanistan National Security Council (NSC) said Daesh was a terrorism group which did not believe in any national sovereignty and all countries in the region should wage a joint struggle to combat the outfit.
NSC spokesman Tawab Ghorzang told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Daesh is a menace which has been imposed on the Afghans from outsides. We are fighting the menace on behalf of the entire region. We have suppressed the group in Helmand, Farah and Nangarhar and the war on the Islamic State is underway.”
Ghorzang said the Islamic State was a strategic threat to the Afghanistan national security and the Afghan defence and security forces were bravely fighting the group.
Gen. John Campbell, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, on Tuesday said that Daesh supporters were trying to set up a base in Jalalabad.
He said the Afghan brand of the Islamic State wanted to set up a regional base in Jalalabad, “as the base of the Khorasan province” and then “work their way up into Kunar province” northward.
According to Campbell, there are “indications” that “foreign fighters” from Iraq and Syria have joined ISIS supporters in Nangarhar close to the Afghan border with Pakistan. He also said that supporters of the terrorist group in Afghanistan are trying to strengthen ties to ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria.
“I’m sure there are folks who have come from Syria and Iraq–I couldn’t tell you how many but there are indications of some foreign fighters coming in there,” Campbell stated. “But they don’t have the capability right now to attack Europe, or attack the homeland, the United States. But that’s what they want to do, they’ve said that’s what they want to do.”
The US commander said that many who have expressed support for ISIS in Afghanistan are “disenfranchised Taliban” from both Afghanistan and Pakistan. ISIS backers have been battling the Taliban in Nangarhar in recent months.
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