ISIS has issued photographs over the weekend showing a cache of US weapons that they captured in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. The cache was said to belong to a soldier named Ryan Larson, and his military ID was also shown in the ISIS photographs.
Included in the weapons were grenades and a portable rocket launcher, along with a radio. The Pentagon denied reports that Larson had been captured as well, but did say that it was “unfortunate” that they’d lost the advanced equipment and the soldier’s ID to ISIS, claiming it had simply been left behind by mistake.
ISIS provided no explanation of how or when they came by the weapons, but the speculation right now is that they were captured after heavy fighting in late July, when US and Afghan forces fought against them in Nangarhar. Five US soldiers were wounded in the fighting, though Larson was not among the casualties, and the Pentagon maintains he is on active duty, albeit apparently without his ID.
The ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan is centered almost wholly around Nangarhar operationally, though it recruits from much of the nation. The group has been described as “operationally active,” though the Afghan government claimed in the past that they’ve virtually wiped ISIS out in offensives. Despite this, the group remains active.