Daesh has a well-publicized history of making enemies with the West in Syria, but lesser reported is a feud brewing between the group and its extremist counterparts on an entirely different battlefield—Afghanistan.
Fresh violence erupted this week between the Taliban and Daesh-alligned militants in the country. It marks one of the biggest death tolls in altercations between the two groups, but tension was sparked long before this escalation. Here's five key events that have shaped the fight we see today.
Late 2014: The Taliban issue a warning against joining Daesh after former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rauf pledges allegiance to the group and begins recruiting. By 2015, a handful of Taliban commanders defect to Daesh.
May 2015: The Pakistani Taliban’s propaganda wing releases a 60 page document denouncing Daesh and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s naming as Caliph.
June 2015: The Taliban sends a letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asking him not to interfere in Afghanistan, stating that the war against foreign forces should be fought under one command and one flag. Daesh wrestles a handful districts from the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. A gory video emerges showing Daesh executing a group of elders accused of aiding the Taliban by blowing them up with land mines.
July 2015: Taliban admit Mullah Omar has been dead for two years, spurring a mass defection of fighters to Daesh affiliates over dissatisfaction with Omar’s replacement, Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansoor.
November 2015: Major clashes between Taliban and Daesh affiliates see over 100 fighters killed in the Afghani province of Zabul. Daesh are blamed for the murders of seven Shia Afghans, including women and children. In response to this, the Taliban allegedly hangs 15 Uzbek Daesh sympathisers believed to be responsible.
By Kane Hippisley-Gatherum
© 2000 - 2019 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)