AT-KABUL: The US and Afghan forces for the first time under the new US policy have targeted Taliban narcotics labs in southern Afghanistan, a move aimed to cut Taliban funding sources, US and Afghan officials said Monday.
The combined operations in which B-52 and F-22 Raptors were also used were conducted in in several Taliban controlled areas in southern Helmand province to target at least eight Taliban drug processing facilities, US forces commander in Afghanistan, General. John Nicholson, told a press confine in Kabul Monday.
The operation were conducted by the US forces under the new authorities, granted by the new US policy in Afghanistan that now allowing the troops to “directly” go and target the narcotics networks, who are linked to or funding Taliban, the General said.
After this the US forces will be targeting Taliban linked narcotics processing factories, trafficking and processing organizations and transportation facilities and their leadership, something which before this the US forces were not allowed to do it. “We are not targeting the farmers” he said.
At least eight Taliban factories were destroyed in Sangin, Kajaki and Nawzad districts of Helmand last night, where the Taliban control more areas than other provinces.
Nicholson said Taliban gradually becoming a “criminal organization” and they keep fighting to profit from the narcotics as they are receiving an estimated $200m each year, an amount more than what they need to fight their war campaign in Afghanistan.