The threat of Daesh foreign fighters in Afghanistan

Monday, 11 December 2017 03:21 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 183 times

Countries like Afghanistan, which cannot properly secure their borders due to ongoing conflicts, are always the convenient breeding grounds for terrorists. Terror outfits always flourish in states with no strong central governments, and then become a major headache not only for those countries, but the whole world.  Afghan government claims there are 20 terrorist groups currently operating in Afghanistan, one which -- Daesh-- emerged and gained foothold three years ago in the country’s east. Although the general belief in the country at the beginning was that the possibility of Daesh’s expansion in Afghanistan was very low, the growing activities of the terror group over the past two years proved it wrong, and it has now effectively become a threat, provoking concerns not only in Afghanistan, but also other regional states. 


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.


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