US air strikes in eastern Afghanistan struck the ISIS’s radio station, informed US and Afghan officials. “Voice of the Caliphate” radio operated by ISIS was destroyed by US forces. The radio station was broadcasting illegally across Nangarhar’s remote Achin district.
Col. Mike Lawhorn, spokesperson for US NATO mission in Afghanistan, stated that US forces conducted two air strikes late Monday.
US defence officials said that the State Department’s formal declaration of ISIS in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a terrorist organization had changed the rule of engagement for US forces.
A spokesperson for the province’s governor, Ataullah Khogyani said that 29 people were killed in the US air strikes and 8 of them were ISIS members. They all worked in the radio station. He confirmed that the US air strikes also destroyed the terror group’s internet equipment.
The station was set up in 2015, after months of fighting between ISIS and Taliban. Despite the fact that both the militant groups want to impose a very rigid version of Islam, they have serious difference regarding leadership and strategy.
According to Fox News, over the past years an ISIS association has come up in Afghanistan and it has been reported that their military is operating from the border near Pakistan .
The radio station was not only the recruitment and publicity medium but also the medium to threaten journalists who were active in the provincial capital.
However, ISIS refuted the reports and said, “the voice of Khilafah of the Islamic state strongly rejects the reports of the puppet regime of Kabul that the radio has been destroyed.”
The Afghan government has also repeatedly tried to destroy the mobile transmitter, understanding that the radio station was going to have damaging effects. Even so, they failed in completely eliminating the radio station.
It is noteworthy that the radio is the most powerful medium in Afghanistan as most people do not have TV and only 10 percent of the population has access to internet.