Brigadier General Wilson Shoffner is the latest US official warning that the ISIS affiliate in occupied Afghanistan is growing increasingly powerful, saying the group’s capabilities in the nation are limited, but they have the potential to evolve into a powerful, dangerous group.
ISIS has become a hugely powerful force in Iraq and Syria, commanding a huge territory of their own, but the affiliate in Afghanistan has little territory, and is mostly fighting with the Taliban over its holdings, with many members of the ISIS affiliate former Taliban commanders.
In other countries where they’ve established affiliates, like Libya, ISIS has provided support and advice in growing those movements, and turned them into large, credible forces. So far, the one in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be getting much of that, which may speak to how small it still is.
Gen. Shoffner insisted that the US is “committed to helping the Afghan government” defeat ISIS, though he refused to comment on reports of US airstrikes against Afghan ISIS targets, despite these being broadly recognized as having happened.