BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Islamic State-affiliated media has released photos of militants belonging to the terrorist group’s Afghan franchise carrying out training operations in preparation for a future offensive against government forces. The photos appear at a time when Russian military and diplomatic officials have been warning about a possible resurgence of ISIS in the war-stricken country following major defeats elsewhere throughout the Middle East.
On Tuesday, the ISIS-linked Amaq media center released photos showing Islamic State forces in Afghanistan undergoing training and drill practice in the freezing cold of winter.
The photos show apparent graduates of the ‘Abu Umar al-Shishani’ Training Center wielding assault rifles and rocket launchers as well as Islamic State flags.
Whilst the specific location of the event shown in the images released by Amaq is not stated, the fighters are believed to be operating out of Afghanistan’s Kumar province – in the northeast of the country.
Several days ago, sources in Moscow stated on record that there may be as many ten thousand Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan.
The claim was a follow up on preceding reports whereby Russian officials expressed concerns that they believe that ISIS is relocating considerable forces to Afghanistan following major defeats in Iraq and Syria.