Pakistani Military Spokesman, Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor claimed that Islamic State (Daesh) was growing in strength inside Afghanistan, prompting Pakistan to launch an operation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
“This operation was necessary because Daesh is getting established there and we have to stop the influence of Daesh spreading into Pakistani territory through the Rajgal valley,” Ghafoor said, referring to a valley surrounded by mountains reaching up to 14,000 feet.
He said that the “Khyber 4” operation, which would include the Pakistan air force, would focus on the border areas inside the Khyber Agency area, which is part of FATA.
Ghafoor said across the Khyber border there are safe havens for multiple “terrorist” organizations that are linked to recent attacks in Pakistan, including the Parachinar assault.
It comes as Pakistan has long denied Islamic State has a foothold inside the country despite a series of attacks claimed by the group over the past two years, including a bombing in the northern town of Parachinar last month that killed 75.