The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) is a branch of ISIS that operates throughout South Asia. After gaining a foothold in Pakistan, ISIS-K began to recruit in the region and expand their terrorist operations to other countries, including Afghanistan in 2015. US and Afghan security forces have been fighting against the militants ever since. This year, the fighting has intensified significantly, prompting the US military to drop one of the largest bombs in its inventory, the MOAB, on a cave complex used by the terrorists in eastern Afghanistan in April.
US Army Special Forces soldiers, alongside their Afghan Commando partners, have been making significant progress in the fight against ISIS-K. As they liberated villages, the Army team discussed how to best build relationships and establish rapport with the people living there while keeping the Afghan soldiers motivated on long, intense operations. The US soldiers knew just what was needed to achieve their goals and reached out to Spirit of America with the identified local need.
The US soldiers explained that they had humanitarian supplies to meet the immediate needs of the civilian population after liberating the villages from ISIS, but they lacked a way to provide or assist the Afghans in acquiring Afghan flags. Providing the flags would engender a trust between the US soldiers, their partner forces, and the local population that couldn’t be built any other way.
The flags will also replace the ISIS flags that have flown over the remote valleys for years, serving as both a symbolic and physical representation of the soldiers’ ability to bring peace and stability to regions that have suffered greatly under ISIS rule.
With your support, Spirit of America can respond to the identified local need and provide the Afghan flags. This symbol of friendship and respect will allow the US soldiers and Afghan partners to effectively engage with the Afghan population as ISIS is cleared out of remote villages.