US Military in Afghanistan Can Now Target ISIS

US Military in Afghanistan Can Now Target ISIS

January 21, 2016

US Military in Afghanistan Can Now Target ISIS

The Obama White House has authorized U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan to legally target an offshoot of ISIS which has been gaining a foothold in the country's volatile Nangarhar province. Military officials welcomed the move as a “significant step.”

We shared military news last week where Defense Secretary Ash Carter hinted at a change in ISIS strategy while giving a speech at Fort Campbell.

Soon after that speech, ISIS in Afghanistan - named ISIL-K by the self-proclaimed Islamic State chapter for what it calls the territory where it operates - was officially labeled as a "foreign terrorist organization" by the State Department.

The Defense Department, in turn, gave ISIS in Afghanistan the "hostile force" label which triggered the White House authorization. Now, the estimated 9,800 troops in Afghanistan will be able to actively target the group just as they can al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

Under previous rules, the U.S. military was able to engage the enemy in Afghanistan in three circumstances: to protect foreign forces; to help Afghan troops ward off an enemy onslaught; and to target al-Qaida and affiliated militants.

Who is ISIS in Afghanistan?

According to the State Department, ISIL-K is based on the “Afghanistan/Pakistan region and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban.”

The group is estimated to be between 1,000 and 3,000 members strong, and U.S. intelligence suggests that ISIS is trying to establish a base of operations in Nangarhar province.

Presently, it is unclear to U.S. military and intelligence officials whether any substantial command-and-control relationship exists between ISIS in Afghanistan and Islamic State leaders in Iraq and Syria.

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3 Responses

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[…] over after serving his country in Afghanistan was difficult. Starting over after the flood feels nearly […]

Leslie Davio
Leslie Davio

February 22, 2016

Why not just drop a couple A Bombs on ISIS yes there would be innocent people but you do what it takes

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[…] took place Dec. 8 and 9, 2012 to rescue Dr. Dilip Joseph, an American who had been kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban days before. Joseph was in the country as the medical director for Morning Star […]

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