Four militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant stormed the biggest military hospital in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday,killing more than 30 people and wounding over 50 others.The Islamist extremists were disguised as doctors for the assault which began when a militant detonated a bomb at a gate of Sardar Daud Hospital,killing himself in the process.The three others ran through the gate and started firing Kalashnikov automatic weapons indiscriminately and armed with hand grenades as well.*
The hospital is located in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of Central Kabul,just blocks from the US Embassy.*
In response,Afghan Special Operations Forces rappelled to the hospital roof from a helicopter.The militants then took up positions on the upper floors and a six-hour firefight ensued which cost the terrorists their lives.At one point,ISIL even fired into an operating room.It was perhaps their most sophisticated attack yet in Afghanistan,showing a higher degree of military training and planning than other efforts.Although the government claims to have cleared ISIL out of several villages,the militants maintain strongholds in the mountains.They claim parts of Eastern Afghanistan and Western Pakistan as their Khorasan Province.*
In February,ISIL claimed the attack on the Supreme Court in Kabul that killed 22.Being on the losing end of several battles in Iraq and Syria lately,ISIL may be trying to compensate for these losses by waging a terror campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Afghan Chief Executive Dr.Abdullah Abdullah pledged to avenge the blood of the Afghan people.
General John Nicholson recently told the US Congress he needs a few more thousand troops to help the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces fend off militants from the Taliban,al-Qaida and ISIL.It doesn't matter to him whether they are American or from other NATO or partner nations.These reinforcements would be on top of the 300 US Marines headed back to Helmand Province,in the Taliban heartland,in the spring to help stabilise the situation there.The US has about 2100 counterterrorism troops in Afghanistan presently,out of its 8400 total commitment to Operation Freedom's Sentinel,with the rest detailed to train,advise and assist.US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is to forward his own recommendation on US involvement in Afghanistan to President Donald Trump shortly.