U.S. Military Begins Bombing Taliban Opium Plants in Afghanistan

The U.S. military has begun bombing Taliban opium production plants in Afghanistan, as part of its new strategy, The Hill reports.

“Last night, we conducted strikes in northern Helmand Province to hit the Taliban where it hurts, in their narcotics financing,” said General John Nicholson, commander of the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support in the country.

The military said that it dropped bombs on labs where the insurgents turn poppies into heroin, as well as “storage facilities where they keep their final product, where they stockpile their money and their command and control.” The Hill adds. According to General Nicholson, the Taliban make an estimated $200 million annually producing opium, with 400 to 500 drug labs in the country. The strikes took out 10 labs, Nicholson noted. The military operation was part of President Donald Trump’s new policy for Afghanistan, which was rolled out in August and involves sending 3,000 additional troops to the country.

“Based on the new authorities I’ve received in the last 90 days with the U.S. policy announcement, we started developing targets immediately. They fight so that they can keep profiting from narcotics trade and other criminal activities,” Nicholson said, referring to the Taliban.

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