Thousands of Shiite Muslims from Afghanistan and Pakistan are being recruited by Iran to fight with President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria, lured by promises of housing, a monthly salary of up to $600 and the possibility of employment in Iran when they return, say counterterrorism officials and analysts.
Despite seemingly stalled peace talks between Afghanistan's government and the Taliban, officials say the intelligence chief speaks by telephone with militant leaders nearly every day about the country's constitution and political future.
In announcing his strategy for Afghanistan, U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at neighboring Pakistan, an ostensible U.S. ally, ordering it to stop giving sanctuary to "agents of chaos, violence and terror."
Sultan Hossaini sent three of his children from their rural home to the capital, Kabul, hoping they would gain degrees and employment in the new Afghanistan that was promised after the overthrow of the Taliban.
Radesh Singh's grandfather was just 11 years old when he left his village in India's Punjab province to move to Peshawar, in the far northwest of the country on the border with Afghanistan.
The U.S. watchdog tasked with overseeing the spending of billions of U.S. dollars in aid to Afghanistan said unprecedented restrictions on the movement of American government employees is sending a dangerous message to Afghan people and hinder the U.S. work in the country.
It was a routine check.
In the last week, the Taliban have overrun two districts in the north and west of the capital Kabul, temporarily cut a key highway linking the city to the north and staged a suicide bombing targeting government workers — many of whom represented the new, educated generation on whom the hopes for Afghanistan's future are pinned.
Bakhsheesh Elahi was waiting for the morning bus when a lone gunman on a motorcycle pulled up beside him and shot him dead.
A letter drafted by a senior Islamic State militant and obtained by The Associated Press points to a growing power struggle within the group's Afghan affiliate, pitting notoriously fierce Uzbek fighters against Pakistanis seen as too close to that country's powerful intelligence service.
Pakistan has frozen the accounts of 5,000 suspected terrorists, taking about $3 million out of their pockets, but Islamabad could still come under scrutiny at a crucial June meeting of an international watchdog that tracks terror financing.