BRUSSELS – The top American commander in Afghanistan says the Kabul government's unilateral halt to attacks on the Taliban gives U.S. combat forces an opportunity to intensify attacks against an Islamic State-affiliated extremist group in eastern Afghanistan.
Army Gen. John Nicholson made the comment to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers where he was providing updates on the war against the Taliban. Nicholson said he could not predict whether the Taliban will join the cease-fire announced this week by President Ashraf Ghani.
Nicholson said Ghani's ceasefire does not apply to the separate fight U.S. counterterrorism forces are engaged in against IS-related fighters in eastern Afghanistan. He said that fight already is intensifying in Nangarhar province and will now be stepped up further.