Senior Islamic State Commander in Afghanistan Killed by the Taliban

Taliban fighters have reportedly eliminated one of the so-called Islamic State’s most senior commanders in Afghanistan, according to government officials in the country. The slain commander was said to be behind the planning of numerous deadly attacks against diplomatic missions in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal in August 2021, the country saw a dramatic dip in violence as four decades of war came to an uneasy end.

However, violent incidents across the troubled nation have been on the rise in 2022 and the security situation has degraded, largely due to a rise in terror attacks carried out by the Afghanistan chapter of the Islamic State.

The high-ranking Islamic State commander killed by the Taliban during an operation that took place on Sunday evening was Qari Fateh, an “intelligence and operations chief” for IS in Afghanistan.

News of Fateh’s death was confirmed by Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban government spokesman, in a statement released on Monday.

Mujahid said that Fateh was the one who directly masterminded recent deadly IS attacks in Kabul, many of which were carried against targets such as diplomatic missions and mosques.

The operation to eliminate Fateh took place in a residential suburb in northeast Kabul called Khair Khana. Locals living in the area reported a prolonged bout of gunfire, suggesting a firefight had taken place.

Following the operation, the Taliban posted a video on Twitter showing two corpses lying amongst various debris. The bodies were believed to be that of Fateh and another Islamic State fighter who was killed in the raid.

Qari Fateh and IS in Afghanistan

According to a United Nations Security Council report published in July 2022, qari Fateh was a high-ranking figure in the leadership structure of the Islamic State and believed to have been responsible for the groups operations in numerous countries around the world such as Iran, India, and various countries across Central Asia.

Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the war-ravaged country has seen the closest thing to peace since before the Soviets invaded. However, the Afghanistan chapter of the Islamic State has become of the biggest security threats to the Taliban reign on the country.

In Afghanistan, the group is known as Islamic State-Khorasan (often abbreviated to IS-K). On the surface, both IS and the Taliban follow a strict islamist doctrine centred around Sunni Islam. However, their overall missions are drastically different. Whilst the Taliban have a domestic goal of ruling Afghanistan as an independent Islamic country, the Islamic State wish to establish a global ”caliphate”.

In recent months, IS has launched numerous deadly attacks on foreigners working in the country as well as various religious minorities and Taliban institutions. In December, the Islamic State claimed to be behind a brutal gun attack on a hotel in Kabul that left five Chinese citizens seriously wounded.

In the same month, IS also launched an attack on the embassy of Pakistan in Kabul in what was believed to be an assassination attempt against the Pakistani ambassador. The following month, an Islamic State suicide bombing killed ten people near Kabul’s foreign ministry.

In September of 2022, IS managed to launch some of their deadliest attacks yet in the capital when a suicide bombing killed two Russian embassy workers. The Taliban also blame the Islamic State for a brutal suicide bombing in the same month that killed over 54 women, most of whom were women and children.

According to a recent U.S. report, there are over 3,000 Islamic State fighters in operation across Afghanistan.

RavenCrest Tactical


From Eastern Ukraine to the mountains of Chechnya, Jay has spent the better part of a decade working on the ground as a security consultant in some of the world's most high-risk areas. His work can range from unrivalled insights into breakaway states to covering the latest tech on the defense market and everything in between!


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