Daesh’s attack against his target Russian diplomats in Kabul is an important setback for the Taliban’s efforts in winning the trust of foreign investors and governments experts believe.
Security in Afghanistan is facing the biggest challenge since the atrocity against a foreign government in the capital city of Kabul highlights the Taliban’s weaknesses.
This time , the target was the Russian Embassy, one of the very few diplomatic post which have continued to function within the country following the US departure last year.
Daesh’s Afghanistan branch (Daesh-K) quickly claim the responsibility. The attack claimed the lives two staff members of the Russian Embassy and the deaths of four Afghan civilians.
Swedish-based Security analyst Abdul Sayed, who specialises on terrorist attacks that occurs in Afghanistan and Pakistan believes that the motivation for the attack was obvious the motive was clear – Daesh was determined to sever the Taliban spokesperson’s recent statement to Russia and other regional actors that Daesh K was not a threat to the Taliban’s rule.
Details of the incident were reported in Daesh’s official news organization Amaq. The perpetrator of the suicide attack is named by the name of Waqas al Muhajir, who blew up his explosives belt in “a gathering of Russian employees and a number of spies and contractors, in addition to members of the Taliban.”
Sayed isn’t the sole analyst to reached the same conclusion.
Through the attack, Daesh proves the world that they “wants to destroy and delegitimise the Taliban,” claims an ex US official who asked to remain anonymous due to his prior connection to the US government in relation to Afghanistan.
The most common belief among experts from the region has been that the Taliban is struggling to move from being an insurgent organization to a governing body , and attacks like these will make that transition more difficult.
A Taliban fighter talks to one of the drivers in a vehicle close to the Russian Embassy after the suicide bombing in Kabul on the 5th of September 2022. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP)
Blocking Taliban’s recognition around the world
Daesh’s growing pressure can also throw an obstacle in the work of Taliban and they claim that the Islamic Emirate is trying hard to convince the international community to allow international funding and negotiate crucial trade agreements with the United States. Since its rise to power, the Taliban has been seeking out Russia and China as well as the two countries that oppose America, to invest.
Independent security experts also believe that Daesh does not just want to cause confusion throughout Afghanistan but also wants to increase the Taliban’s political and financial isolation.
The terrorist group is trying to change into a Taliban regime into an unofficial government which grants a free hand to terrorist groups such as Daesh experts believe.
A political analyst on Afghanistan as well as the Taliban and the Taliban, referring an attack that took place recently on the Russian Embassy.
Koskinas is currently an expert fellow in the international security department of New America, a US think-tank.
Let’s hope that this doesn’t hinder groups from traveling to Afghanistan,” says Obaidullah Baheer who is one of the Afghan political analyst as well as a instructor at American University in Kabul.
The ability of the Taliban to effectively rule across Afghanistan “is particularly important to regional powers such as Russia and China,” who are keen to make investments in the war-ravaged country in order to strengthen their power on both Kabul and the territories surrounding it all across Central Asia, a strategic area, according to Moiz.
Therefore it is evident that this Afghan Taliban’s “ability and willingness to check extremism” that is promoted by groups such as Daesh is of vital importance. “If the Taliban are unable to provide security, it would be a further barrier to regional countries recognising them,” Moiz says to the TRT World.
Russia as well as the Taliban have forged closer ties after they announced the US departure from Afghanistan in the last year. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and members of Taliban delegation participate in the multilateral peace negotiations about Afghanistan held in Moscow in the year 2018. (Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters Archive)
Why is it that the Russian Embassy
“Maybe because Russia is getting heavily involved with investment and trade with the Taliban,” claims one former US official, who was referring to the reasons Daesh-K targeted Moscow’s Embassy in Kabul. Moscow has a long and troubled relationship with Afghanistan as it was in the hands of Russia’s Soviet Union, the predecessor state of Russia from 1979 until 1989.
The former official has found similarities between the incident at the Russian Embassy as well as a previous attack on a Chinese construction firm in Kunduz that was fatally wounded by eleven Chinese employees in 2004 just three years after the end of Taliban rule. Contrary to that of the Kabul attack, it was unclear why no one claimed to be responsiblefor the attack at Chinese workers.
A former US Official believes following the attack on Monday, Daesh may be looking to cut off the Taliban’s bloodline to Russia. “If any assets are released by the US, the Taliban might use them to buy grain from Russia,” He says, which could help Afghanistan to avoid food shortages.
“Russia does not go around sanctions. Afghanistan receives the food it needs,” he says, making it a win-win for both parties. The Taliban’s Minister of Commerce, Nooruddin Azizi, has spent a week at Moscow in the Russian capital and St Petersburg discussing Russian-Afghan trade relations, Azizi says. “Also many meetings” happened with the Russian Embassy in Kabul an ex-high official says.
This is why Russians are now targets for Daesh-K that “can only target targets that are in existence. There aren’t any US locations in Afghanistan” no longer according to him. “In general Russia is on their long term target list.”
Increased commercial and diplomatic ties among both the Taliban and Russia could be one of the reasons for Daesh to pursue Moscow however, the conflict between Daesh and Russia is not a brand new issue, dating back to the time of their conflict in Syria as per Sami Yousafzai, an Afghan journalist who has extensive experience of and in AfPak region.
“The choice of the target is in line with the Daesh-K narrative of Russia that is featured within its plans for propaganda. Many of the books and videos produced by Daesh-K claim that Russia is an adversary of the group since Russia has fought alongside Iran and Iraq in Syria in the Middle East and Iraq to defeat the militant group,” says Iftikhar Firdous an experienced Pakistani investigative journalist who has an emphasis specifically on Afghanistan as well as militant organizations.
“They argue Russia did the same in Afghanistan with Iran by arming the Taliban to destroy Daesh-K strongholds in Nangarhar and Kunar,” Firdous informs The TRT World. The group believes that Moscow established five republics during the Soviet time period to wipe out Islam in the area and re-establish its Russian Empire, Daesh perceives Russia “as a great enslaver of Muslims” in Central Asia, he says
“It is interesting that they designated the Russian Embassy a ‘crusader’ outpost,” Koskinas informs the TRT World. He thinks that this attack intends to draw international media’s focus towards Daesh-K which is based in Afghanistan. He cites a recent incident that showed how hundreds of Taliban members were injured or killed in an Daesh strike on their “Red Unit” in Kabul this week. However, the incident did not get the attention of the Western press, he adds.
In the last few months, Tajik and Uzbek members of Daesh-K sought new recruits to join Daesh-K in Khorasan which is a region that has a long history that includes areas of Iran, Central Asian states and Afghanistan from which Daesh-K’s Afghan branch was named According to Firdous.
In April, when Daesh-K targeted Daesh-K’s Uzbek town bordering Termez The group declared that Central Asian war efforts “had opened for the reconquest of the old Transoxiana (Khorosan) province from the five Central Asian republics,” he declares.
The group argues that their fight “is now stretching from Uzbekistan-Tajikistan to Peshawar through Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul. This signals that the group is linking its different fronts into a sole war,” he adds.