Some residents in Achin district in the eastern province of Nangarhar—that was once the main footprint for Daesh—are concerned about militants' activities in their areas months after US forces left a key base in the district.
The US forces left the Combat Outpost Blackfish last year in July that once housed small Special Forces teams. The base, located at the Mohmand Valley, was established in April 2017 and has now been handed over to Afghan forces.
“When Americans were here, they had adequate equipment, surveillance organizations were active, they had modern equipment and drones,” said Obaidullah, an officer from Afghan Army’s 201 Selab Corps. “Daesh was eliminated when the camp was established here. With the equipment we have in access, we will not allow Daesh to operate.”
Mohmand Valley in Achin district was once the main hub for Daesh but parts of it were fallen to the Taliban after Daesh was eliminated from that region as officials described.
Some residents of the district said they remain concerned about growing Taliban activities in areas around the base.
“The enemy is conducting sporadic shelling on us from far distances by use of different weapons,” said Lotf-Ur-Rahman, an army officer.
“The threat is there… We’re concerned. The situation here is not good,” said Sajjad, a resident of Achin district. “We want an improved situation here. There is no job.”
Nangarhar governor Zia-Ul-Haq Amarkhil said the security situation in Achin is fine.
“The Afghan forces are stationed in Achin. As well as there are public uprising forces… Achin is secure,” Amarkhil said.
TOLOnwes reporter Abdulhaq Omeri said that on their arrival in the base, they were told that there is a threat of rocket attacks on the base by the Taliban. He said that the base has been established near the Durand Line, the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and that there is no outpost between the post and the line, except an outpost of public uprising forces, something that keeps the way open for the militants.
The drawdown in US troop levels in Afghanistan has been done based on a peace agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban in Doha last year in February.
The Associated Press in a report today said the US military has met its goal of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to about 2,500 by Friday, despite a last-minute congressional prohibition.