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Drug Labs Still Finance Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2018)

More than hundreds of drug production facilities are still operating in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Hayatullah Hayat, provincial governor of Helmand province has told Ariana News that at least 40 drug labs were destroyed during the last two months; however, he said narcotic drugs are still the main source of financing violence and terror.

“We have destroyed dozens of drug labs and we have killed drug traffickers and more than a hundred Taliban militants who were involved in this business. In addition, we have seized and destroyed more than three tons of narcotics,” Mr. Hayat said.

Afghan defense ministry says targeting the revenue streams of terrorists is very effective in order to disable the insurgents.

“We will target all resources and personnel of the terrorist groups,” said Mohammad Radmanish, Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.

In addition to Helmand province, there are drug labs in many other 34 provinces of the country.

Experts say the Afghan government must identify internal drug traffickers beside targeting the drug labs.

“The government must control major drug traffickers. The intelligence agencies must identify all those groups involved in this business,” said Mia Gul Waseeq, a military analyst.

Recently, U.S. and Afghan forces conducted a series of strikes against Taliban drug labs in Helmand province.

The combined operations struck seven Taliban drug labs and one command-and-control node in Kajaki, Musa Qala and Sangin district of the province.

According to General Johan W. Nicholson, the commander of the Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, the strikes were carried out under new authorities in the current U.S. Afghan strategy.

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