Fight against ISIS to step up during Afghanistan truce – US general

A one-week ceasefire with the Taliban announced by Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani will allow the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) to be stepped up, the top US general in the country said Friday. Afghan commandos backed by US special forces and air support are tackling IS and Al-Qaeda fighters who hold pockets of territory in the northern and eastern provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar and Jowzjan. “We are in the middle of a new offensive against IS in Nangahar. This will continue and in fact will be intensified during the period of ceasefire,” said General John Nicholson, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Nicholson said US forces would respect the apparently unilateral ceasefire, AFP reported.