The threat of Daesh or the self-declared Islamic State (IS) is on the rise in Afghanistan following its defeat in Syria and Iraq, because the ongoing violence and weak central government here, compared to other regional nations, present the terrorist group with a good opportunity to sustain and expand its operations. Recent media reports suggest that French and Algerian fighters have joined the ranks of Daesh in northern Jawzjan province. According to the western media quoting Afghan local officials, French Daesh fighters are training fighters in Jawzjan’s Darzab district.
The arrival of foreign Daesh fighters from Syria and Iran in Afghanistan is a major challenge for the country already grappling with decades-long conflict, and can deteriorate the situation and complicate the war. In addition to escalation of violence and war, its immense fallout is the possibility that violence will continue even if the Taliban and Afghan government reach a peace deal. It is right that the Taliban might have created a platform for foreign terrorists to operate and grow in Afghanistan, yet if they renounce violence and join the government as part of a peace deal, the Daesh terrorist group will remain a threat, and continue to unleash violence in the country.
Both the Afghan government and people should realize the severity of the threat, and therefore take appropriate measures to prevent foreign Daesh fighters fleeing Syria and Iraq from entering Afghanistan. Additionally, the international community – mainly the United States who has thousands of troops in Afghanistan – should fight the terror group in a way which can eliminate the doubts surrounding its resolve in the war on terror.