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U.S.-Afghan Forces ‘Destroy 22 Major Drug Factories’ in Helmand

(Last Updated On: November 23, 2017)

Since last four days the U.S. and Afghan forces have destroyed 22 major opium factories in joint operations in southern Helmand province,  the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The Defense Ministry Spokesman, Dawlat Waziri said that they have conducted at least 65 airstrikes on opium factories in Helmand so far, adding that the operations will be also extended to other provinces.

“In these operations not only drug factories have been destroyed, but the enemies have also suffered heavy casualties,” Waziri said.

According to local officials, the operations have been launched in Musa Qala, Desho, Kajaki and Washir districts of Helmand which suppressed the Taliban militants.

The air strikes in Helmand comes as officials in western Farah province, have also urge attacks against the Taliban’s drug factories in the province.

“Drug smugglers are living in the areas which are not under control of the government, particularly, in Pagwa district,” said Zahir Shah Ghori, the Provincial Counter-narcotics Dept. Police.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, which is the main ingredient in heroin.

Growing opium is a crime in the country, but it is still a major cash crop for impoverished farming communities.

The Taliban taxes poppy production in areas it controls, which is a major source of income for its military activities.

According to reports, opium is being cultivated in 209 thousand hectares of land in Afghanistan, which ensures militants’ financial incomes up to 60 percent in the country.  

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