Afghanistan’s military is set to launch a major operation aimed at stopping the Takfiri Daesh terrorists from making inroads into the country’s northern provinces.
“(The) ministry of defense is planning to launch an operation against Daesh in the northern provinces of Sari Pul, Faryab and Jowzjan,” Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said Tuesday.
“We know there are foreign fighters among them, but we will eliminate all of them regardless of their nationality,” he said, without elaborating further.
Taking advantage of the chaos fueled by local Taliban militants, Daesh terrorists first emerged in Afghanistan’s eastern and northeastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar in 2015.
The Takfiri outfit is now seeking to strengthen its foothold in the war-torn country after it lost the territories it had captured across Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The terror group has claimed a number of deadly attacks against mosques and security posts in the heart of the Afghan capital, Kabul, over the past year.
The security operation comes amid reports that foreign militants, including French nationals, are joining the ranks of Daesh in northern Afghanistan.
Mohammad Reza Ghafoori, a spokesman for the governor of Jowzjan, told AFP that more than 40 foreign Daesh militants, mostly Uzbeks, are present in Darzab and Qushtepa districts “to recruit locals and train them.”
“The government is planning to launch an operation to clear the area from them soon,” he said, without giving further details.
Taliban kill 3 Afghan soldiers
Meanwhile, local Taliban militants launched attacks on military checkpoints in Afghanistan eastern province of Ghazni early Tuesday, killing three soldiers.
At least five other soldiers also sustained injuries in the gun battles, which occurred in the districts of Andar and Muqar, said Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor.
He further said that the two districts are now under the control of Afghan security forces.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying the militants were able to overrun the checkpoints and seize weapons and ammunition.
In October, the militants launched a number of deadly assaults on a number of checkpoints and military bases across the war-ravaged country, leaving over 100 soldiers dead and dozens others injured.
The Taliban, mostly based in the south and east of Afghanistan, has been behind many attacks in the north of the country in the recent past.
Afghanistan is engulfed by violence and many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops. The United States and its NATO allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001, which toppled a Taliban regime.