Isis militants will not be able to stay in a mountain redoubt they reportedly seized in Afghanistan earlier this week due to lack of logistic and support by local tribes, an analyst has told IBTimes UK.
Isis militants captured the cave complex known as Tora Bora, in the Nangarhar Province, on Wednesday (14 June) after week-long fighting against the Taliban, officials and villagers fleeing the area told the New York Times.
Isis later confirmed its fighters has captured the hideout, according to AP. However, the Taliban have denied the claims.
Tora Bora used to be the fortress of Osama Bin Laden, former leader of the al-Qaeda terror group. It was recaptured in 2001 following ground and aerial operations conducted by the US and its allies in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers in New York, blamed on the group.
Tora Bora subsequently fell under the rule of the Taliban, an Islamic hard-line movement that fights against the government in Kabul and aims to establish a strict version of Sharia law in the country.
"The area is a strategic trade route for Isis to keep their resource flow and it is a very hostile territory that even Russia, the US and the UK failed to secure and stabilise for long," security analyst and counter-terrorism expert David Otto told IBTimes UK.
The Taliban said on Wednesday fighting against Isis, their rival group in the country, was still ongoing and added "no one has advanced in the area."
"Holding this territory will be an expensive venture and Isis does not really have the ability to hold Tora Bora for long, hence the reason why the Taliban would quickly refute this claim," Otto said.
"The Taliban structure made up of former Mujahideen fighters will not give up Tora Bora easily. This is an area where 'culture eats strategy for breakfast'. If in the rare circumstances it falls to the hands of Isis, it will be their downfall. They will need constant logistical local supply to stay in Tora Bora," he continued.
It is believed that Isis moved to Tora Bora after US forces dropped what was deemed as the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever used in a conflict in the Achin District, Nangarhar, killing at least 36 Isis fighters in April.
Following the reported seizure of Tora Bora, the Afghani army would begin ground, air and artillery operations against the militants in the region as soon as possible, officials told the New York Times.
Some officials were quoted by AP as saying Isis had captured much of the mountains around Tora Bora and positioned some of its heavy artillery there, but it had not yet captured the redoubt itself.
The Afghanistan Embassy in London has declined to comment.