IS Needs “Foreign Hand” to Rise in Afghanistan

IS Needs “Foreign Hand” to Rise in AfghanistanIS Needs “Foreign Hand” to Rise in Afghanistan

The rise of the IS in Afghanistan will not be possible without the militant group receiving foreign backing, Hamid Karzai, former Afghan president, said in an interview.

“IS expansion into Afghanistan would not be possible without a foreign hand, without a foreign backing,” Karzai told RT. “So, if you hear ever … that IS is on the rise in Afghanistan, and is strong and expanding militarily, it will mean that it is a foreign-backed force intending to destabilize the region, particularly Central Asia, China and Russia.”

He put the blame for the rapid expansion of IS on “foreign interference” in Iraq and Syria, saying that it was all “the result of events” there.

Karzai once again criticized the US and its allies for interfering in Afghanistan, saying that their declared war on terror lasted over a decade “without the results that we all expected.”

“Unfortunately, the Afghans suffered heavily in this war on terror, and terrorism and extremism rather than being defeated, or reduced, or eliminated, are steadily and widely on the rise. We have more radicalism today than we ever had before.”

 $9m/Day Battle

The US spends more than $9 million (£5.7 million) a day on the war against IS, and has poured $2.7 billion into the bombing campaign since the start.

The first breakdown of US costs, released by the Pentagon, shows that two-thirds of the total bill have gone to the Air Force. It came as Congress rejected legislation banning further spending.

The US House of Representative approved a $579 billion defense spending bill. It rejected an amendment calling for a stop to cash going on the fight against IS unless Congress passed a new authorization for the use of force.

The cost of the US military operation has risen sharply since it began last August in Iraq. This week, the White House announced another 450 advisers for Iraq, bringing the total military personnel to 3,500.

 Warplanes Destroyed

Libya’s wing of the IS released a video on Thursday, purportedly showing it blowing up two warplanes at an airbase while its militants paraded heavy weapons in a show of force.

The video showed the group’s militants manning a tank, firing a mortar gun and destroying the planes parked in front of a hangar at the base seized by the militants near the central city of Sirte. The authenticity of the video could not be verified.

Militants seized Sirte’s military and civilian airport two weeks ago, expanding the area it controls by exploiting a security vacuum in the oil producer, where two Libyan governments are struggling for power.