How Afghan resistance to Taliban could bring global resurgence of IS
DW, 07 Sep 2021
One of the biggest threats to the Taliban's new rule in Afghanistan is from another radical jihadist group. IS-K, the regional chapter of the so-called Islamic State has battled the Taliban for dominance since 2015. The recent suicide attack on Kabul airport shows the group's intent to strike.
And concerns are growing thousands of miles to the east about the events in Afghanistan. Kurdish forces in Syria fear resistance against the Taliban takeover could inspire a resurgence of the so-called Islamic State in their region.
Many families say they are already living under threat.
The Shaheel region is considered an IS stronghold in eastern Syria. One of many in the province. Kurdish fighters put an end to the Islamists' rule in 2019, with the help of the United States. But the self-styled 'soldiers of God' went underground and continued spreading fear and terror, murdering anyone who dared to oppose them.
Kurdish forces are fighting back. They aim to keep the terrorists in check, as the number of IS attacks rises. There were 18 in the province in July alone. And the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan seems to have given them a boost.
That's what Kurdish commander Siyamend Ali thinks. Since the attack on Kabul Airport, he's afraid a wave of terrorism could spread across Syria as well.
Kurdish special forces are showing their presence on patrol. They don't want to give any ground to IS. And they know its fighters come out of their hiding places at night, demanding protection money, taking hostages and committing murder.
At a check-point at an intersection between two villages considered IS strongholds, guards look for suicide attackers and search for weapons and explosives in cars, even if it might get them killed.
They try to capture the leaders in raids. Recently, they were able to take down a top IS commander. They destroyed 120 sleeper cells in July, but more appear all the time.
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