UK Defense secretary says Daesh Afghanistan poses threat to his country

During a three-day visit to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, the UK’s defense secretary Gavin Williamson said Daesh fighters in Afghanistan are communicating with cells in the UK with the aim of potentially carrying out attacks.

This was the first time the British government has stated Daesh in Afghanistan poses a direct threat to the UK, Britain’s Independent reported.

The US has said there are around 2,000 Daesh fighters operating in the country, their numbers bolstered by militants fleeing Iraq and Syria, read the report.

This comes after former US Forces-Afghanistan and Resolute Support commander Gen. John Nicholson told VOA recently that Daesh has “been able to replenish a portion of their losses by recruiting from other violent extremist organisations. Despite this recruiting they are losing fighters and losing ground.”

Williamson’s comments came as an extra 440 British troops arrived in the country, following a request from the US. It brings the total number of British personnel in the country to 1,100, the third largest behind the United States and Germany, the Independent reported.

While in Kabul, Williamson met with President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah. In a tweet after the meeting the UK embassy in Kabul stated: “We remain absolutely committed”.