The US forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) slammed the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Afghanistan for deliberately using civilians as shield to escape the ongoing counter-terrorism operations.
The statement by USFOR-A came as reports emerged Wednesday suggesting some local residents suffered casualties during an airstrike that targeted the loyalists of the terror group in Achin district of Nangarhar.
“Daesh is killing innocent Afghan men, women, and children. They continue to put innocent lives at risk by deliberately surrounding themselves with civilians and dressing in female attire,” USFOR-A said in a statement.
The statement further added “We have repeatedly said that we will target Daesh wherever they are in order to disrupt their operations, degrade their attack networks, and protect innocent lives.”
According to the US forces, Nangarhar province has been a focus for Daesh activity since 2015. Daesh seek to use the area to train, equip, disseminate propaganda, and expand their control over innocent Afghans.
“Our Afghan partners, especially their special forces, have been working diligently to disrupt and destroy Daesh in Southern Nangarhar, and we continue to work alongside them to support their efforts. The ANDSF have significantly reduced Daesh presence and inflicted hundreds of casualties on them. In addition and as part of US unilateral counter-terrorism operations, US forces also killed their leader in Afghanistan, Hafiz Sayed Khan, in late July,” the statement added.
In regards to the alleged death of civilians in Achin airstrike, USFOR-A said “We won’t discuss the details of the specific counter-terrorism operation conducted in Nangarhar on 28 September because we are still reviewing all materials related to the strike. We take every possible measure to avoid civilian casualties in these operations, and will continue to work with Afghan authorities to determine if there is cause for additional investigation as we partner with the Afghan government in the broader fight against terrorism.”