Afghan MP: ISIL Members Trapped in Nangarhar Battlefield Rescued by US
“A large number of ISIL members were surrounded by the Taliban in Masjed Sefid region of the town of Chaprhar but the US military men hurried to help them with warplanes and rescued them,” Zaher Qadir said on Saturday.
He said that after clashes erupted between the Taliban and the ISIL, the US planes, carrying special forces, flew over the region and pounded the Taliban and rescued the besieged ISIL members.
Stressing that the Taliban and the ISIL are both enemies of the Afghan people, Qadir said that the US is openly inclined towards reinvigorating the ISIL.
Afghan officials have identified Nangarhar, located along the Pakistan border, as ISIL’s primary stronghold in the region.
ISIL is primarily active in the Achin, Kot, Nazyan, and Chaprhar districts of Nangarhar.
In 2015, the United Nations reported that Chaprhar and Achin are among “the main opium poppy cultivated districts in Nangarhar province”.
Opium cultivation and production throughout Nangarhar increased the following year, placing the province among the top five most opium producing regions in Afghanistan, the world’s top supplier of opium and its deadly heroin derivative.
Regional officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to the UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.
Afghan and western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying that allies have “overlooked” the drug problem since invading the country more than 16 years ago.