Reports indicate that the Islamic State is planning to start a second front in Afghanistan to continue its Middle Eastern conquest. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova made the claim at a news briefing on Thursday.
Zakharova said, "Radical Islamists have long ago proved their ability to use any crisis situation in their own interests, aggravating old conflicts and creating new hotbeds of conflict, violence, and tensions. Such developments present a direct threat to Afghanistan which has been going through a military and political crisis for many years. ISIS military successes in the Middle East have until recently served as a very important propagandistic trump card which allowed and still allows to recruit new supports to this organization, new militants and terrorists almost in all regions.”
According to Zakharova, ISIS would open the second front in spite of the fact that anti-ISIS forces have largely been advancing in both the Middle East and North Africa. Current instability in Afghanistan might allow ISIS to take advantage of the chaos and get involved.
She explained, “When Russia launched the decisive military campaign against ISIS and other terrorist organizations on the territory of Syria, partial reorientation on Afghanistan may allow ISIS to still present itself as an effective military structure that has opened the second front despite the advance of anti-ISIS forces in the Middle East and North Africa."
In Afghanistan, there is currently a large amount of build-up and competition between competing terrorist groups. There has been an ongoing split within the Taliban movement and a growing presence of ISIS in the country.
Zakharova said, “All this confirms that the territory of this country still remains one of the main sources of a global terrorist threat.”
By establishing a new front in Afghanistan, ISIS would bring further destabilization to a chaotic region of the world. Once the front is established, ISIS would certainly try and expand beyond Afghan borders to increase its network. Of course, other countries such as Russia and the United States would most likely offer assistance to Afghanistan in preventing the spread of terrorism.
Zakharova said, "Considering very disturbing, very dangerous aspects of the international situation, it is essential to combine and coordinate efforts of the international community designed to suppress the global terrorist threats on the basis of norms and principles of international law and, of course, the provisions of the UN Charter, including respect for state sovereignty. And, of course, it is necessary to cooperate, primarily with those states whose territories are exposed to direct terrorist attacks.”
With the growing threat appearing inevitable, it’s looking like more of the Middle East could soon fall into chaos. This would have many repercussions, including an enlarged refugee crisis in Europe and a growing conflict that is becoming increasingly difficult to contain. Plus, it just makes it more likely that violence could spill into other countries as well.