WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Jun 13, 2019, 11.07 AM
A senior US general has called the Islamic State(IS) in Afghanistan as a serious threat, adding that the IS terrorist organisation aspires to attack the United States.
"ISIS in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States. It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that, " Marine General Frank McKenzie said.
Further calling the IS "very worrisome in eastern Afghanistan", McKenzie added, "combat operations have failed to reduce the group's fighting ranks. Others have said they are thought to number in the thousands".
Associated Press had earlier reported that the Islamic State was expanding its footprints across Afghanistan. Citing US and Afghan security officials, the report claimed that the terror group was recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States and other western countries.
General McKenzie is the head of US Central Command and manages the country's military operations across the greater Middle East.
Watch: Wounded and alone, children emerge from last Islamic State enclave in Baghouz
The Islamic State grew in Afghanistan with the emergence of the jihadist militant group in Syria and Iraq in early 2014.
The IS in Afghanistan calls itself as the Khorasan Province, a name applied to parts of Afghanistan, Iran and central Asia in the Middle Ages.
Besides assisting the Afghan defence forces against the Taliban, the US forces in Afghanistan are combatting the Islamic State group separately.
'ISIS in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States. It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that, 'Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie said.