ISIS in Afghanistan
According to NATO officials, IS has been hampered due to the Taliban fighting back under its new leadership, the Afghan government’s resistance, and US drone strikes on its forces. In addition to the pushback against IS, it is also theorised that since Afghanistan, unlike Syria and Iraq, has a majority of Sunni Muslims, the IS cannot feed off pre-existing sectarian tensions (the marginalised and persecuted status of the Hazara Shias notwithstanding). The barbarity of their acts, where they are seen to murder droves without reason has also been a factor that has horrified and repelled the Afghan people. It is indeed shocking to imagine what kind of brutality the IS practices, that the Taliban under Mullah Akhtar Mansour are seeking to appear as the bulwark to hold it back and trying to assert themselves as a ‘legitimate’ Islamist group.