Desperate to get the reports of US soldiers abandoning military equipment to ISIS in Afghanistan out of the headlines, US commander Gen. John Nicholson is now claiming that this was part of a massive “joint offensive” with the Afghan military, and over the course of two weeks they believe 300 ISIS were slain.
Details are scant, and Nicholson conceded it was difficult to get an exact count, but said he believed the offensive amounted to having killed some 25% of the fighters for ISIS’ Afghanistan affiliate, terming it a “severe setback” for the nascent faction.
At the same time, US officials have claimed far more ISIS fighters killed worldwide than they’ve ever admitted existed in the first place, and this is the second huge death toll reported in Afghanistan in the last two months, with the Afghan government claiming at one point, before this new offensive, ISIS had been effectively “wiped out.”
Still, this massive offensive would explain why ISIS was willing to make some local ceasefire deals with their Taliban counterparts around Nangarhar Province, ending what had been some pretty severe fighting between the rival insurgencies as the US and Afghan militaries dedicate more forces to the area.
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