Fighters loyal to ISIS have seized substantial territory in Afghanistan, according to an ominous Reuters report from June 29.
Witnesses who fled fighting in Nangarhar province told reporters that hundreds of ISIS fighters in convoys of pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns seized several villages—and put local opium fields to the torch.
“They burned poppy fields in Shadal village and banned shops from selling cigarettes,” tribal elder Malek Jan said.
Taxing opium production is a key sources of Taliban revenue, but Reuters reported that ISIS loyalists in Nangarhar appeared to have other sources of money. Witnesses said they had plenty of cash. It is unclear where the money is coming from, but it allows ISIS to stigmatize the Taliban as soft on drugs.
Regardless, the Taliban is talking tough against these upstarts.
“They are thieves and thugs,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. “We will soon clear those areas and free the villagers.”
But Jan said some villagers welcomed ISIS.
“Unlike the Taliban, they [ISIS] don’t force villagers to feed and house them,” Jan explained. “Instead, they have lots of cash in their pockets and spend it on food and luring young villagers to join them.”
The U.S. has taken note of the growing ISIS presence in Afghanistan. Reuters reported on June 28 that the U.S. had carried out air-strikes on unnamed “militants” in the Nuristan and Paktika provinces. Paktika was named as a stronghold of the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network. But the report also noted that “support for ISIS…has spread and the group is expanding its contingent of foreign fighters and disenchanted Taliban militants.”
California Governor Signs Several Marijuana-Related Bills
Bill Would Remove Cannabis Possession As Grounds For Deportation
FBI Investigating Possible Public Corruption In Sacramento’s Cannabis Industry
Compassion Lives on in California as Governor Signs The Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary Act
News5 days ago
Judge Says Police Seizure Of 900 Pounds Of Marijuana Was Illegal
Business5 days ago
California Company Develops Metal-Free Vape Cartridge
News4 days ago
Texas Suddenly Stops Issuing Permits For New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Grow6 days ago
Dear Danko: Expert Grow Advice
Movies4 days ago
Fantastic Fungi Is A New Documentary That Celebrates The World Of Mushrooms
News7 days ago
Cannabis Advocacy Groups Bring 51-foot Inflated Joint To Congress
News6 days ago
California Medical Marijuana Bills Await Governor’s Signature
News5 days ago
Mexican President Says State-Led Cannabis Legalization “Not On Our Agenda”