March 11 –The Iran Project – After terrorist groups lost their strongholds in Iraq and Syria, so far several Iranian and foreign officials have censured US over its measures to relocate Daesh terrorist groups to Afghanistan.
On November 19, Daesh terrorists were flushed out of their last stronghold in Syria’s Al-Bukamal. The city’s liberation marked an end to the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate it had declared in 2014.
Daesh militants made swift advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large areas of Syria.
But the timely support by Iran helped Syria and Iraq fight off Daesh. In addition, formation of military units by volunteers, known as Hashd al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Units, in Iraq blunted the edge of Daesh offensive and later made the terror group withdraw from the territories it had occupied.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror. Some 17 years on, the Taliban militant group has only boosted its campaign of violence, targeting both Afghan civilians and security forces in bloody assaults.
More recently, Daesh has established a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan and stepped up its attacks despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops there.
“Option for Immigration”
According to media report, Daesh in Afghanistan is inviting Muslims worldwide to come to the war-torn country if they cannot reach Syria or Iraq, as it seeks to expand its foothold.
A 25-minute propaganda film released by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province on March 4 promotes Daesh strongholds in Afghanistan’s north and east as an “option for immigration,” the SITE Intelligence Group said.
“O you Muslims in every corner of the world! Immigrate to Khorasan! If you are incapable of immigrating to Iraq and Sham [Syria], come to Khorasan,” a fighter said on the video.
The video comes amid growing concerns that Daesh fighters fleeing battlefields in Syria and Iraq are finding their way to Afghanistan, where the group has a small but potent presence.
Foreign Militants Joining Daesh
Recently, General Saleh Mohammad Rejistani, a military analyst and former parliamentarian of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan said over the past months the number of foreign militants joining Daesh has considerably increased.
According to Rejistani, Daesh footholds are located in four provinces in the north and north-east of Afghanistan: namely, Faryab, Jawzjan, Sari-Pol and Badakhshan.
The general specified that the militants enter Badakhshan via two routes: the first one is going through Chitral (northeast of Pakistan) and the Warduj valley. The second one is through Chitral to Nurestan. Pakistan serves as a “bridge” for the transfer of militants. The main centers of the terrorist deployment are in Chitral, Waziristan and Peshawar, according to the military analyst.
On March 9, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations said that security has remained the major challenge for Afghanistan, declaring Iran’s continued support for peace and stability in neighboring country.
Gholamali Khoshroo made the remarks in a UN Security meeting on Afghanistan on Thursday March 8 to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year.
Khoshroo added “sustained international support is needed to help the Government in that fight, as well as in addressing its complex security, economic and political challenges.”
Tool of Oppression
Islamic Revolution’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the US is pursuing its goal of justifying its presence in the region and providing security for the Zionist regime of Israel by moving Daesh to Afghanistan.
“The same hands that created Daesh and turned it into a tool of oppression and crime against the people of Syria and Iraq are now, after Daesh’s defeat, trying to move Daesh to Afghanistan; recent massacres are actually the onset of the plan,” said Ayatollah Khamenei in his Fiqh class.
He reiterated that the Americans themselves are the main source of insecurity in Afghanistan, and the slaughters that have taken place in the name of religion in the past 20 years were carried out directly or indirectly by the US agents.
Escalation of Tensions
Meanwhile, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri has cautioned about transferring Daesh terrorist group to Afghanistan, noting that “The Americans point to (the existence) of tensions in the southwest Asia region as an excuse for their presence in the region.”
If the region became calm, they would have to withdraw their forces and then the regional counties would ensure the security of the region, he added.
In an interview with IRNA, Former Pakistani ambassador to the UAE Air Marshal (rtd) Syed Qaiser Hussain praised Iran’s role in the Middle East region, adding that no doubt Iran will come out victorious against all American conspiracies.
Former Vice Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) stated that since the success of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has always stood up for its national interests and never accepted the American hegemony.
He added that it is the US that has airlifted the people of Daesh from Iraq and brought them in Afghanistan to create instability in the area.
Pakistan won’t be US “Proxy”
Moreover, Pakistan’s Foreign minister Khawaja Asif has accused the US of trying to use Islamabad as a “proxy” in defending its interests in war-torn Afghanistan.
Maintaining that Pakistan wants constructive ties with America, he said that in the high-level engagements recently, the US officials have been told that Trump’s “unwarranted” allegations against the country were against the cooperative history of the US-Pak relationship.
In his new South Asia Policy in August last year, Trump had called for tougher measure against Pakistan if it fails to cooperate with the US in its fight against terrorism.
The US also blocked about USD two billion in security assistance to Pakistan.
Consolidating Daesh’s Position
Speaking to Sputnik Dari, Ahmad Wahid Mozhda, a political scientist and former Mujahedeen commander, explained that many Afghans believe in the presence of a ‘mysterious foreign hand’ in their country helping to consolidate Daesh’s position
“Many members of Afghanistan’s parliament, as well as ordinary citizens, are saying that Daesh terrorists are being brought here by unidentified helicopters. There is a great deal of evidence to support this,” Mozhda said. “Afghans believe in a kind of ‘mysterious hand’ working to strengthen Daesh’s positions,” he added.
Mozhda challenged the US’s long-standing assertion that fighting terror was its main mission in Afghanistan, and pointed out that in its 17 years of fighting, the US has not only suffered significant material and personnel losses, but has not been unable to win this war. On the contrary, he noted, the number of terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan has grown exponentially.