The United States intends to step up military operations against Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan during a temporary ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan said on Friday.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced the first unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting month. But that excludes other militant groups such as Islamic State.
The group has developed a stronghold in Nangarhar, on the porous eastern border with Pakistan, and become some of the country’s most dangerous militants since they appeared around the start of 2015.
“(Operations against ISIS) will continue, in fact will be even intensified during this period of ceasefire as we focus on ISIS,” U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, told reporters.