The new rules of engagement were approved last week by the administration of Barack Obama and allow commanders of the military mission in Afghanistan to launch airstrikes against those suspected of belonging to the Daesh in the same way that they already do against Al Qaeda.
In late 2014, the United States ended its combat mission in Afghanistan, transforming it into one of providing assistance and training – and undertaking counterterrorist actions – that is being broadened due to the resurgence of the Taliban and the appearance of Daesh fighters in the Central Asian country.
To date, U.S. forces in Afghanistan could only conduct airstrikes in three situations: to protect international coalition forces, to aid Afghan troops or to kill Al Qaeda leaders.
The United States in the past had attacked Daesh fighters in Afghanistan, albeit under the precept that they were preparing attacks or had hostile intentions, not simply due to their affiliation with the group.
A spokesperson for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan said at a Tuesday press conference that the Daesh is emerging as a force within the country, but it does not yet have the ability to launch attacks or occupy territory as it has done in Syria, Iraq and Libya.