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Ghani orders elimination of all groups posing threat to Afghan forces

January 18, 2015
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has ordered to eliminate all individuals and groups posing threat to Afghan National Security Forces. Deputy defense minister Baz Mohammad Jawhari said the President has made it clear that all those individuals or groups which poses threat or attacks the Afghan forces are the enemies of Afghanistan and therefore they should be eliminated.
Speaking during the completion of security transition of the Afghan national army training facilities, Jawhari said such claims are not correct that the government of Afghanistan is not having a clear policy regarding the enemies and friends of Afghanistan.
Jawhari said Afghan security forces are prepared to counter all terrorist activities which are aimed at targeting the Afghan people and troops.

Militants Posing as ISIS Are Taliban

19 January 2015
In response queries of Senators, acting Minister of Defense Enayatollah Nazari on Monday reported that the insurgents operating in regions of Afghanistan have labeled themselves as ISIS when in fact they are Taliban fighters.
"Our investigations reveal that Taliban commanders in Afghanistan have changed their physical appearance and are acting as ISIS militants are in fact the Taliban," Nazari told the Senators. In addition, acting Minister of Interior Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said that the Afghan National Police (ANP), despite the lack of efficient weaponry and tolerating massive casualties, is determined to defend the country against threats posed by terrorists.

ISIS Increasingly Active in Southern Afghanistan

January 12, 2015

In the wake of a video showing regional ISIS supporters beheading a Pakistani soldier, Afghan officials confirmed that ISIS is not only active in Pakistan, but increasingly so in the southern Helmand Province.

Gen. Mahmoud Khan admitted that ISIS fighters are openly recruiting in Helmand, and that a religious leader named Mullah Abdul Rauf has been trying to bring tribal leaders on board.

Mullah Rauf was a commander for the Taliban years ago, but now seems to be on the ISIS bandwagon. This could be problematic not just for the Afghan government, but for the Taliban as well.

Reports are that in southern Helmand, where the Taliban has taken much territory recently, ISIS is clashing with them, and they could easily become a third force in the ongoing Afghan War, just as they have in the Syrian Civil War.


Turkey to increase number of soldiers in Afghanistan to 1,100

January 19, 2015
Turkey will increase the number of its soldiers in Afghanistan from 700 to 1,100, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday. "We will increase the number of military forces in Afghanistan. We have nearly 700 soldiers; next year we'll increase to 1,100," Cavusoglu said.
He said Turkey will continue to train and equip Afghan security forces, a mission that will be conducted in both Afghanistan and Turkey.  Cavusoglu said Turkey will spend 50 million euro (about 57.83 million US dollars) in running Kabul International Airport. Turkey now manages the airport, which is used for both military and civilian purposes, on a two-year term.

Pro ISIS Backers Behead Captured Pakistani Soldier

January 11, 2015

A new video shows a group of Afghan and Pakistan militants who have pledged allegiance to ISIS beheading a captured Pakistani soldier, the first such video to come out of the region. The video shows a large group of militants waving ISIS flags in a forest. Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid is seen in the video declaring support for ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The video will inevitably add to concern about ISIS’ expanding influence in the region, which had long been dominated by more region-specific Taliban leaders. Shahid was one of several Pakistani Taliban figures who left the group in favor of ISIS. Young jihad-minded Afghans, who have traditionally also been Taliban recruits, have been a lot more interested in flocking to Syria and Iraq in recent months to join ISIS.