KABUL, Afghanistan – The US has helped 40 ISIS commanders escape from a Taliban prison in Badghis, in northwestern Afghanistan, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.
The 40 inmates, all foreigners, were taken by helicopter to an unspecified location after US troops attacked the prison and killed all security guards two weeks ago.
The agency, which plans to disclose more details of this operation soon, said the deputy head of the Badghis provincial council, Abdullah Afzali, confirmed the facts.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, intensified its operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2015, countries that it aspires to include in a province of its “caliphate”, the so-called Wilayat Khorasan (or ISIS-K, for its acronym in English) .
In Afghanistan, which consists of 34 provinces, the presence of ISIS is centered in areas close to Pakistan, although jihadists also seek to establish themselves in the northern regions bordering the nations of Central Asia.
The Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, in a letter sent last July to the UN Security Council, estimated that ISIS has between 3,500 and 4,000 militants in Afghanistan, including between 600 and 1,000 in the north.
Two weeks ago Russia announces new evidence of links between the US and ISIS, declared the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, they would have obtained evidence that shows that the US has links with ISIS.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs alleged that the United States was interested in separating prisoners from ISIS to prevent information from leaking.
The Foreign Ministry also reported that US special forces may have participated in the seizure of prison documents to prevent leakage of information about the sponsors of the terrorists.
The spokesman for the Taliban movement, Zabihullah Mujahid, tweeted that the US military killed the guards and took 40 ISIS fighters imprisoned to an unknown address.
“This interest in the fighters of ISIS makes us question if the US tried through this operation to avoid leaking the information that the aforementioned terrorists could communicate about their real sponsors,” the Foreign Ministry said in the statement.