Afghan security officials and commanders of the US-led foreign forces in the country claimed restricting Daesh, also known as the Islamic State, to a few districts whenever the terrorist group launched large-scale attack. All security eyes are fixed on Nangarhar as the eastern province is considered to be the birthplace and breeding group of Daesh. Security officials say that earlier the notorious terrorist organization was active in eight districts of Nangarhar. After multiple military operations the group is now operational in two districts—this is what the authorities believe or claim. The calculations is inconclusive and flawed because the IS has made inroad into other provinces.
Last year Daesh has centers in eight districts of Nangarhar province. The group was recruiting fighters in the eastern province. Since the terrorist outfit has expanded to Logar, Ghor, Zabul and other provinces, therefore, the claims that the Islamic State is reduced to two districts is misleading. On the contrary, Daesh has spread its evil tentacles from east to center and northeast. Defeating the terrorist organization would be a tightrope walk. Afghan security forces will have to confront the group on multi-fronts now. Expansion the IS in the country is no myth. Spread of the terrorist outfit has to be taken seriously.
Miscalculations could prove catastrophic. Understanding the enemy’s strategies and moves is of utmost importance when it comes to effective counter-terrorism mechanism. If the government had devised a comprehensive counter-Daesh strategy, people in northwestern Ghor province would have not been abducted and killed. On Friday afternoon the terrorist group has abducted six civilians in Narkoh and Badkoh villages of the province. Fate of the kidnapped people is unknown. There is no information regarding whereabouts of the abductees. Chasing the group is a wild-goose chase. Nearly a week ago, the Islamic State has killed 33 civilians in the same province.
Safety and security of civilians should be top priority of the government. Civilian casualties in ground and air strikes shall be avoided at all cost because collateral damage results in setbacks. Civilian killings in military offensive provide an opportunity to militants to recruit new people and strengthen their propaganda. Civilian casualties may be one of the reasons that insurgents have unending supply of fighters. According to UN experts, there are 45,000 insurgents in the country. Between 20 and 25 percent are foreigners. In other words, the government is fighting 75 percent of local militants. Cutting the recruits supply line to the militants would be a major victory for the government. It will be possible when the security policymakers plug loopholes in the exhausted strategies and ensure public safety.