The Afghan affiliate of Islamic State, Isis-K, poses a threat to Britain, a former top UK general has said.
Former military commander General Sir Richard Barrons spoke about the recent attack on Kabul airport, which killed 170 Afghans, two British adults, the child of a British national, and 13 U.S. service members.
Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) claimed responsibility for the coordinated suicide bomb and gun assault on Thursday.
The Islamic State announced its expansion to the Khorasan region in 2015, encompassing parts of modern day Iran, Central Asia, and Afghanistan.
Speaking about the number of casualties in Afghanistan, Sir Barrons told Times Radio: “What it does do is illustrate that Isis-K is a risk to the United Kingdom, here at home, and to our interests abroad.”
“We’re going to find common cause with the US, and indeed I think the Taliban, in bearing down on this terrible organisation for as long as it takes to neuter them.”
He added it was likely Britain will have to co-operate with the Taliban to prevent any terrorism coming to the UK and also to get any other Britons who have been left behind in Afghanistan back home.
“Before we arrived at this current catastrophic outcome, we had a diplomatic presence, we had a relationship with the Afghan intelligence organisations,” Sir Barrons said.
He added that the UK military was able to work with some of the very good Afghan security architecture which has now completely dissolved.
“We also had the benefit of the sort of drone eyes-in-the-sky that the US provides. And now, all we have left is recourse to this over the horizon, drones support.”
“So what this actually means is we’re going to end up co-operating, not just with the US, but with the Taliban in the future in order to deal with Isis-K.”
The Chief of the Defence Staff went on to tell Sky News that the UK has “principles and laws” that its partners have to meet in order to work together.
“If the Taliban are able to demonstrate that they can behave in the way a normal government will behave in relation to a terrorist threat then we may well discover that we operate together but we need to wait and see.”
Sir Barrons added later: “We are going to have to be pragmatic, I think this will be quite a slow process, it will be conditional but it is necessary.”
Reiterating comments he previously made, he described the US decision to leave Afghanistan “on the basis of a date in the calendar” as a “failure of strategy”.
More than 14,000 people have been lifted out of Afghanistan in the past two weeks and around 1,000 are estimated to be left behind.
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