WASHINGTON - Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the ongoing Taliban insurgency, while other extremist organizations, such as the Daesh terrorist group, have also expanded their activities both in the country and in neighboring states.
The Afghan Air Force has dropped its first laser-guided bomb on a suspected Taliban compound in the city of Farah, Operation Resolute Support said in a statement on Tuesday.
Video accompanying the statement showed the targeted building exploding.
Earlier in the day, the Central Asia and China, Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Director Yevgeniy Sysoyev said that there are up to 3,000 terrorists in the north of Afghanistan , 80 percent of them are foreign nationals, including fighters from Russia.
"The situation in the northern provinces of Afghanistan , where nearly 3,000 terrorists are reportedly concentrated, 80 percent of whom are foreigners, including fighters from Russia, Central Asia and China, is particularly concerning," Sysoyev told the international conference on Afghanistan in Tashkent.
Meanwhile, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said that the government hoped that reconciliation talks with the Taliban radical movement would be launched in the near future.
"We have a strong hope that these negotiations with the Taliban movement through the relevant channels will kick off in the near future and we are looking forward it," Rabbani said at the international conference in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.
On February 1 Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and the Foreign Ministry's Director of the Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov stated that about 7,000 militants and several thousand "reservists" of Daesh <link>are currently operating in Afghanistan .
Previously, in November 2017, residents and the administration of Afghanistan 's northern provinces spotted French-speaking Daesh terrorists. For instance, Mohammad Dawar, the head of the Darzab district of the Jawzjan province, told Sputnik that citizens of France and Algeria were operating in the region. Dawar's assumption about the presence of French citizens on the ground was later confirmed by representatives of the national security service in Kabul.
Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate as the militants of the Taliban radical movement are active on 70 percent of the Afghan territory, fully controlling 4 percent of the nation and demonstrating presence in another 66 percent, a BBC study <link>conducted on August — November 2017 found. In addition, the research reveals that that the number of districts with Taliban's presence has increased since the mission carried out by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan ended in 2014 and the foreign troops were formally withdrawn from the country.
The Taliban is a fundamentalist movement which seeks to enforce the rule of Islamic law in Afghanistan . The group emerged in 1994 during the civil war in the country and held power on the most part of the Afghan territory in the period from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban is listed as a terrorist organization by the UN Secvurity Council, Russia and the US. One of the main sources of income for terrorists is the drug trade: the country supplies almost 80 percent of the world's opium <link>. A record of almost 10,000 tons of opium was produced just in 2017.