DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:45 A.M.) – Contrary to the military situation in Iraq and Syria, ISIS still holds battlefield momentum in Afghanistan and is on the march against rival jihadists on the eastern border with Pakistan.
Photos published by Amaq Agency on Saturday evening show ISIS elements storming undisclosed positions in the mountains of Nangarhar province and exchanging fire with Taliban fighters, killing some of them in the process:
ISIS first established its Afghanistan franchise branch in January 2015, creating what it called ‘Khorasan Province’, a historical region incorporating parts of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Although the Taliban and ISIS briefly formed a jihadist alliance in the early months of 2015, the two parties have since fallen out as the former vows to fight only a national insurgency while the latter hopes to establish a worldwide caliphate.
Subsequently, ISIS began actively recruiting defectors from the Taliban, particularly among those who were disgruntled with their leaders or lack of battlefield success.
Despite an ongoing military intervention by the US Army, much of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan still remains off-limits to the Afghan National Army.