Obama expands Daesh airstrikes to Afghanistan

22nd Jan 2016
Obama expands Daesh airstrikes to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AA) – The White House expanded the Pentagon’s authorities to strike Daesh militants in Afghanistan, a defense official said Thursday.

“We have made some adjustments to the authorities there to be able to make clear that we have the authority to go after ISIL-KP” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said, using the acronym for Daesh-Khorasan, the militant group’s Afghanistan branch.

Previous airstrikes targeting Daesh in Afghanistan were “limited to situations where those militants were threatening forces”, according to Davis.

Noting that Daesh is emerging in the southern province of Nargarhar on Pakistani border, Davis said the adjustment will allow the U.S. to take action in the region where U.S. forces are not currently operating.

President Barack Obama used executive orders to approve the actions.

“We are very interested what they [militants] are doing there. That is a part of our continuing effort to make sure we are able to strike ISIL wherever they manifest themselves,” Davis said. “We are ensuring that our commanders on the ground there have the authority to be able to engage ISIL there as well.”

Davis said the expansion of the anti-Daesh mission is a follow up to the State Department’s designation last week of Daesh’s Afghanistan branch as foreign terrorist organization and that it was in accord with the strategy recently laid out by Defense Secretary Ash Carter that the fight against Daesh will primarily focus on Syria and Iraq while preventing the group’s spread in the broader region.

 

 Author Kasım İleri
[Photo: Suicide bomber targets US military convoy near Nangarha airport used as US military base in Jalalabad on April 10 2015. Photographer: Ziar Khan Yaad/AA]

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