ISIS has reportedly lost over 100 of its fighters during heavy attacks in eastern Afghanistan.
Reuters reports that officials claim more than 100 Daesh, or ISIS, fighters were killed in Nangarhar over the past three days during heavy fighting, but the news source is also cautious in reporting that these numbers cannot be verified.
“Nearly 36 Daesh rebels were killed in face-to-face battle with security forces, 95 others were killed in airstrikes. The clashes still continue [in Kot],” Nangarhar governor Salim Kunduzi said.
Two top commanders in the Afghan ISIS terrorist group were taken out in the fighting, according to locals. They were named as Khetab and Kamran.
Locally, as many as 131 ISIS soldiers were reported killed after hundreds of ISIS militants attacked security forces’ outpost in Kot district on Friday, according to the Deccan Chronicle. While the fighting continues, over 200 local police force members are battling ISIS to push them out of the area.
General Dad Mohammad Harifi, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief in Nangarhar, claimed, “According to intelligence reports, nearly 600 Daesh fighters attacked the district and that the security forces are trying to eliminate them.”
Several people in the area were wounded or killed by ISIS terrorists in the fighting, including seven security force personnel and five civilians killed and 31 others wounded.
“There is no doubt that Daesh [ISIS] do not respect anyone,” Saleem Khan Kunduzi, Nangarhar’s provincial governor said.”They kill people, regardless of whether they’re a child or a woman. They burn down madrasas, mosques, and schools.”
While ISIS remains a threat to Afghanistan and other parts of the world, in Afghanistan ISIS has become more defensive than they are elsewhere.
“We don’t think that they are trying to expand we think they are trying to survive … So, we believe right now at their peak they were probably in about 8 to 10 districts in the Nangarhar area,” U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, said. “We think they are now probably in about two to three districts [including Kot and Achin].”
Vice and Reuters report that many ISIS terrorists have been pushed back into the mountainside near Pakistan, where they are hit by U.S. airstrikes.
Most of the ISIS casualties in Nangarhar were due to foreign airstrikes on ISIS, according to Sputnik.
Additionally, Taliban supporters overwhelm the region, and ISIS has a hard time infiltrating this influence, says Cleveland, but the support ISIS does get is based on how much money can be made serving the terror group.
“The little bit of support that they get from some fighters is typically based on the fact that Daesh [ISIS] is able to pay higher salaries than the Taliban. So, they are paying up to 600 dollars a month per fighter and that appears about to be the only real incentive for any Afghan to be associated with Daesh.”
Otherwise, the group is filled with renegade Afghan Taliban and extremist Pakistani Taliban soldiers, according to Afghan and U.S. commanders. It is estimated that there are around 1,000 Afghan ISIS fighters, reduced from 3,000 last year, according to VOA.
Meanwhile, the fighting with ISIS has slowed down, and search and rescue operations have begun on Sunday.
[Photo by Kutluhan Cucel/Getty Images]