Afghanistan has long been known as the place empires go to die, and President Ashraf Ghani sees that applying to the local ISIS affiliate too, claiming that the group has already been defeated and that “Afghanistan will be their graveyard.”
ISIS has had a presence in Afghanistan for some time, centered around Nangarhar Province on the Pakistani border. Afghan officials are claiming that a 21-day military operation against ISIS in that area ended in total victory, with 200 ISIS killed.
Presenting a large kill count in a single operation as total victory, however, has proven to be a mistake in other nations with ISIS affiliates in the past, as the group has tended to be far more resilient than anyone would expect after major losses.
ISIS has been reported to have been recruiting across most provinces in Afghanistan, and while their largest presence was in Nangarhar, they were also believed to have a presence elsewhere. The group is also growing significantly in neighboring Pakistan, recruiting in the city of Karachi.