Less than a week after Afghanistan announced its latest full-scale military offensive against ISIS in the Nangarhar Province, the tables seem to be turning, with ISIS going on the offensive in the area, overrunning multiple Afghan military security posts.
The attacks began overnight in the Dih Bala District, with ISIS forces attacking from several directions and hitting multiple security posts at once, preventing an efficient reinforcement of the targeted areas by other Afghan troops in the vicinity. After hours of fighting, at least 17 Afghan troops were dead, and the Defense Ministry claims 21 ISIS were also slain.
ISIS has had an active affiliate in Nangarhar Province for some time, and while the Afghan military’s previous offensives ended with claims that the group had been “wiped out,” in practice the fighters mostly just disperse during the offensive and come back immediately thereafter.
Trying to put Afghan forces on the offensive has been a problem several times, with the military not having he capability to both attack and defend at the same time, meaning offensives in some areas leave the military vulnerable to attack elsewhere.