An ongoing US and Afghan military offensive against ISIS in the Nangarhar Province is coming to an end soon. Officials say that the target, the border area of Deh Bala, will be totally “cleared” in the operation.
US officials are saying that the area, on the border with Pakistan, was going to be used to attack the cities of Kabul and Jalalabad. The reports appear designed to suggest this offensive, once finished, will more or less totally remove ISIS from the bulk of Nangarhar.
This is something we’ve heard before, of course. Time and again, offensives against ISIS in Nangarhar have killed scores, or even hundreds, of “suspects,” and ended with claims of total victory. Time and again, ISIS has reemerged within weeks after the end of the offensive, with no apparent long-term losses.
This particular offensive appears to have been little more than a matter of convenience for US forces at any rate. The declaration of a ceasefire by the Afghan government at the end of Ramadan meant the US couldn’t attack the Taliban for awhile, and they decided to escalate the fight against ISIS instead.