‘No end to his killings’: Afghans who fled & resisted new ISIS warlord Azizullah to RT
The son of an Uzbek jihadist leader, Azizullah is a second-generation warlord. Often described as dangerous, ambitious, and fanatical, the infamous jihadist has brought death to many people in Afghanistan. Until recently, he was incarcerated in the notorious Bagram prison – but in the fall of 2016, Azizullah was released, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Locals told RT’s Murad Gazdiev that it happened “unexpectedly.”
The war correspondent managed to speak to some of the locals and refugees in Mazari Sharif in Northern Afghanistan, who have witnessed and suffered the warlord’s atrocities in the neighboring Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces. They have spoken up about the carnage in their native lands for the first time.
“He is the most evil man in the world. It is because of him that we starve here in poverty. He brought his terrorists to our homes and murdered everyone,” a local woman told Murad.
“He has murdered so many, and besieged even more. There’s no end to his killing,” another woman who has lost 25 members of her family, including her son, added.
“They cut people’s heads off, their legs, arms and fingers. Some victims I couldn't recognize because of what they did to their faces,” a man who also lost his son told RT.
Afghans who spoke with RT blame the current situation in the region on “Americans,” claiming it was them who “released him from Bagram for whatever reason.”
“They let him go – and now he has come for our lands,” one local said, while another added “if they wanted to, they could catch him very quickly.”
At the moment, as well as at the time of Azizullah's release, the prison has been officially run by the Afghan government, but locals still believe it is “owned by the Americans.”
“Bagram is owned by the Americans, the Afghan government doesn't have the capability to run it. It was the Americans who released Azizullah,” said an anti-Azizullah militia leader, Shir Agha.
Fed on the chaos and corruption in Afghanistan, the terrorist amassed hundreds of fighters and an arsenal of weaponry, Gazdiev reports. Locals also accuse Afghan troops of selling weapons to Azizullah.
“He is the richest man I know. He has support from abroad, and so much money. He pays his fighters almost a thousand dollars – that’s why so many join him,” another local militia fighter claimed, saying that the warlord pays his terrorists about five times more than the Afghan government to its soldiers.
But while some Afghans have allegedly chosen to make profit from the terrorist’s rule, others decided to resist, having formed a small force of locals fighting Azizullah's tyranny.
“The government, the US – they don’t help. We finance ourselves, by selling our houses and lands, to buy weapons and ammunition,” Shir Agha added.
RT reached out to the Pentagon for comment on whether the Department of Defense was aware of the release of Azizullah, who is now leading the new regional branch of ISIS, but has not heard back from them just yet.
Meanwhile the Afghan Defense Ministry deputy spokesman, Mohammad Radmanesh, told RT he did not know “if he was released from Bagram prison or another prison.”
“Azizullah Yuldashi and his father Taher Yudashi are both leading Islamic State terrorists who came here from Uzbekistan,” Radmanesh said. “The Afghan government fights against anyone who comes here to engage in terrorist activities.”