Several Afghan groups affiliating with ISIS: US State Dept
Washington, August 18 (Online): American State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner has said that several groups in Afghanistan are affiliating themselves with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
While delivering a press briefing in the United States capital, Toner demanded Afghan Taliban to subdue themselves to the constitution and play their role in restoring peace.
He stated that Taliban must understand what political leadership of Afghanistan asks of them. Long battle is not the solution to problems, he said adding that the United States would continue to support those who are striving for peace and stability in Afghanistan including country’s army.
He said that the United States made efforts to stop funding of terrorists across the globe but total halt to sponsorship remains a challenge.
Toner said that the United States was deliberating over the situation caused by Russian access to Iran soil.
He further said that steps taken by Russia are hindering efforts made by the US to end aggression in Syria.
While answering a question about a third splinter group of Afghan Taliban after United States drone strike killed Mullah Akhtar Mansour in May, the deputy spokesperson said that further division sure does make reconciliation process complex but not impossible.
Further explaining his answer, Toner said that it becomes harder to get consensus if number of factions is large.
Meanwhile, he welcomed fighting among different factions of Taliban as it would make the extremist group weaker thus innocent lives would be saved.
However, adoption of the constitution and laying down weapons remains United States much desired solution, he cleared.
Another question that explored possible informal alliance between Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Taliban in Afghanistan, he said that there definitely was possibility and the department has witnessed that before elsewhere.
“We’ve seen it in Libya and elsewhere, frankly for it to expand or to reach out its tendrils, if you will, into different places that are ungoverned spaces, and certainly that’s true for Afghanistan,” Toner said.
The United States government, he said, was in contact with Afghan officials and security forces to stop it from happening.