The US Central Command (Centcom) chief Gen Kenneth McKenzie on Thursday expressed concerns about the presence of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan.
In an interview shared on Facebook by the US Central Command – Dari/Pashto, McKenzie said that America is still “sorting out what is going to happen” since the Taliban came into power, reported Tolo News.
“ISIS… concerns us in Afghanistan,” McKenzie said, adding “We know that the Taliban are no friends, particularly of ISIS and in fact over the past couple of years, they have occasionally under-taken operations against ISIS.”
“I think… what we see developing in Afghanistan is ungoverned and under-governed spaces which are areas were ISIS traditionally flourished and… I think there is a risk, we know that ISIS does in fact have … a desire to carry out external attacks–attacks against the United States– the homeland of the United States and attacks against the homeland of our neighbours in Europe… and other places. So, I am concerned by what is happening in Afghanistan,” he said.
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The Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Stanislav Zas, warned that the re-emergence of foreign terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda and ISIS are not only a threat to Afghanistan but to the whole region, reported Tolo News. “We pay in our work particular attention to our southern borders. Afghanistan remains a long-term ongoing source of danger, given the unfolding socio-economic and humanitarian disaster stemming from the country, as well as the terrorist threat and the risk of drug trafficking. That is all increasing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Taliban Defense Ministry denied reports over the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.
“We deny these reports. We assure all the people that the security forces of the Islamic Emirate are ready to fight the terrorists. There are no terrorists in Afghanistan,” said Inayatullah Khwarazami, a spokesman for the ministry. Based on the Doha agreement signed between the Taliban and Washington on February 29th, 2020, the Islamic Emirate is committed to cutting ties with all terrorist groups in the region.