First published in The Canary on 26 July 2016:
The weekend attack in Kabul that killed 80 civilians is raising questions about Daesh (Islamic State) in Afghanistan. The attack on Afghanistan’s capital could be a sign of Daesh’s growing strength. US and Afghan National Forces (ANF) are therefore keen to retaliate and eliminate the threat as quickly as possible.
But a closer look shows this isn’t quite Daesh as we’ve seen them before. Worryingly, their weakness may depend on the strength of another enemy – the Taliban.
Daesh claimed the horrendous twin attack in Kabul on Saturday 23 July as a martyrdom attack against Shi’ites. Talking to Reuters, Omar Khorasani, a Daesh commander, said that the attack was in retaliation for the support to President Bashar al-Assad from some of the Hazara community, having gone through Iran to fight for the regime in Syria. He said:
“Unless they stop going to Syria and stop being slaves of Iran, we will definitely continue such attacks. We can and we will strike them again”