ISIS Displays US Soldier's ID, US Says He's Fine

Has ISIS in Afghanistan captured a U.S. soldier? A statement today by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq, accompanied by photographs displaying the Identification card of U.S. Army soldier Ryan Jay Larson, and what is purportedly his equipment, leaves that impression. But the statement stops short of claiming Larson was seized or killed

The statement says ISIS successfully repelled an attack by the Afghan army in the Tor Ghondi and Kha’stan Kamar areas in Nangarhar. It adds ISIS then conducted a counterattack and took control of three of of their points, killing two and injuring several others. It reports many fled. It says ISIS took “ghanimah” of weapons and ammunition. [More...]

The statement does not say ISIS is holding Larson -- only that it seized his documents and gear.

But the official U.S. forces in Afghanistan has already responded, saying soldier Larson is still with his unit.

We are aware of false reports that ISIS captured US Army SPC Ryan Jay Larson. He is accounted for & remains on duty status with his unit.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense confirms 10 Afghan officers were killed in operations the past 24 hours, including in Nangarhar.

According to a statement by MoD, the operations were conducted in Helmand, Khost, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Kunar, Logar, Uruzgan, and Farah province.

U.S. special commandos have been conducting combat operations in Nangarhar.

Nicholson revealed that American special operations forces have been heavily involved in ground fighting in Nangarhar in recent days, and five commandos have been wounded — three of whom had to be evacuated out of the country for treatment. All are expected to recover.

Both Afghan and U.S. forces have been conducting raids against ISIS in Nangarhar. ISIS executed two Taliban sympathizers this week.

Both the Afghan and US forces conduct regular raids against the loyalists of the terror group in Nangarhar province.

Nangarhar is in Eastern Afghanistan. ISIS' Khorasan Wilayat (not the same as AQ fighters from the Khorassan region) have been fighting against the Taliban there since 2015. Some Pakistani Taliban leaders announced their loyalty to ISIS leader al Baghdadi in late 2014.

Last week, Afghanistan announced the killing of the reported IS leader in Nangarhar, Saad Emarati, in an Afghan operation aided by U.S. air support. Emarati was a former Taliban leader who defected to ISIS. Not long before his death, Afghanistan said it killed the ISIS military commander in the area and captured an ISIS explosives expert. The same article reports:

The Afghan intelligence operatives have arrested a key member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the detained individual has been identified as Azizullah son of Omid Gul who was operating as explosives expert of ISIS loyalists.

Here's a post of mine from January, ISIS vs. the Taliban. It's about an interview in Dabiq 13 with the then Wali of ISIS in Khorasan in which he says there's no longer any difference between the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban, they are both bad and take orders from Pakistani intelligence.

ISIS has been very brutal in its executions of both Taliban and tribal leaders in Nangarhar. In early July, it published a video showing a child executing Taliban members (article about it here).

The Taliban is reportedly worried about the increased presence of ISIS in Nangarhar. Here's an article from 2015 mapping ISIS' presence in Afghanistan.

Here's an alternative explanation of how ISIS came to select the Achin district of Nangarhar as its base in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has been announcing the killing of ISIS leaders in Nangarhar since at least June, 2015. One gets killed, another comes in. We're now conducting airstrikes in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen. ISIS is still here, as is al Qaida. Useless wars, that should not be ours to fight. Our expanding intervention will just result in more deaths. There will always be some jihadist group resorting to violence somewhere. The world needs to find another way to respond besides calling them madman and launching air strikes or ground attacks. Maybe it could begin by examining their grievances and recognizing those that are valid. While it won't deter these groups, it might stem the tide of potential recruits, particularly among the marginalized and oppressed who see no other path open to them.

I hope soldier Larson is indeed okay. I really feel sorry for the first U.S. soldier who actually is captured by ISIS. "Coming home in a box" as Country Joe used to sing is probably best possible outcome -- and the least likely.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I'm sure he's fine (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 08, 2016 at 10:13:44 PM EST
    When it comes to service members well being they don't lie like they did during Vietnam. They get found out now, and losing the faith of the people concerns DOD these days.

    If you listen to Donald Trump though, the US military is a shambles. It's just a disaster. Everything must be rebuilt. Obama ruint it, it's all broken now ;)