The Trump administration’s relentless airstrikes on the vast opium fields in southern Afghanistan has destroyed Taliban’s a top funding source of heroin and opium. According to Taliban officials, they claim to have established a new customs house in the Delaram district of southern Nimruz province.
The airstrikes have also targeted Taliban narcotics processing labs in the Helmand province last November.
The U.S-led coalition has confirmed the attacks will continue until terror organizations and the opium trade that fund them are wiped out.
The Taliban has reportedly been using the funds from the opium trade, previously protected by the Obama and Bush ministrations, to buy weapons and continue its offensive against the U.S.-backed Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
“They tax the transiting commercial vehicles and finance their insurgency in the southern Helmand and Farah provinces through this money,” Gul Bahar Mujahid, the police chief of Farah province, informed Voice of America.“[The Taliban] has repeatedly engaged in extortion and looting in the route of the Delaram and Khashrwod districts, and we are using military force to prevent their vicious actions,”
U.S. Airstrikes in Afghanistan Take Aim at Taliban Opium Labs https://t.co/TKzNWfjL1H
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) November 21, 2017
According to Breitbart: In an apparent response to the pressure applied by the U.S.-backed efforts against the group’s opium operations, the terrorist group has reportedly set up its own checkpoints along major highways in southern Afghanistan.
“There is a Taliban checkpoint after every Afghan security checkpoint, you can see their white-color flag raised over the checkpoints. … They tax commercial cars and trucks according to the sizes of the vehicle,” a local traveler identified only as “Ahmad” told VOA.
According to the U.S. military, the Taliban generates an estimated 60 percent of its funding from the illicit opium and heroin trade.
The United Nations has determined that Helmand is the top poppy-producing province in Afghanistan, the world’s top supplier of heroin’s main ingredient opium.In a major departure from the previous administration, U.S. President Trump has authorized the American military to target the Taliban’s opium and heroin labs with airstrikes.
So far, the U.S. military has pulverized several labs used to process opium and its heroin derivative, dealing a multi-million-dollar blow to the narco-jihadist group’s funding engine.
U.S.-backed ANDSF troops have also targeted other Taliban narcotic operations, including hashish trafficking.
“We believe that the Taliban, in some ways, have evolved into a criminal or narco-insurgency,” U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, declared in November. “They are fighting to defend their revenue streams. They have increasingly lost whatever ideological anchor they once had.”
“They fight to preserve and expand their sources of revenue. This includes narcotics trafficking, illegal mining, taxing people throughout Afghanistan, kidnapping, and murder-for-hire: all criminal endeavors,” he added, vowing to continue bombing the opium labs.