‘Terrifying’ Friendship: Why Daesh-Taliban Alliance Would Be a ‘Nightmare’

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
By Paul Martin


In an interview with Sputnik, Senior Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Michael Kugelman, commented on the recent reports about a possible alliance between the two terrorist groups – the Taliban and Daesh.

According to some reports, the worst nightmare of Afghan and US officials has come true: the Islamic State and the Afghani Taliban have agreed on a ceasefire and may create an alliance to fight against foreign forces in Afghanistan.

“If it is true that there really is this alliance, this union so to speak, and if it maintains itself, then we are really looking at a big problem that could well end up transgressing into a nightmare scenario. Because the idea of the Taliban and ISIS (Daesh) — and by extension al-Qaeda — uniting in a place as volatile and unstable as Afghanistan is really terrifying,” Kugelman told Sputnik.

The two jihadist groups have been fighting against each other for more than a year. Washington-trained Afghan forces capitalized on their enmity. However, several months ago Daesh and the Taliban called for a truce, which allowed the former to focus on fighting local army in the Nangarhar province and move to the Kunar province, where according to Afghan officials the group is recruiting new members before launching military operations.

However, experts note that although the Taliban and Daesh managed to reach a truce, it seems that it won’t last long as both groups have different objectives in the region. Kugelman also supports this opinion saying that a long-lasting cooperation between the two terrorist groups is unlikely.

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