The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group loyalists have started eradicating opium and targeting heroin production in Afghanistan, a similar approach the militants of the terror group are using to target the illicit drugs as well as alcohol in Syria and Iraq.
According to reports, the loyalists of the terror group have launched the campaign in areas where they have influence, including the Achin district which was once the stronghold of ISIS loyalists.
Nawab, a local farmer who goes by his first name only, told VOA’s Afghan Service that the Islamic State “eradicated our poppy crop because they say it is illegal.”
“I had a one-hectare well-grown poppy field. I did not grow wheat, and now I lost the poppy as well,” Nawab added.
Mohammad Naeem, an Achin resident, told VOA that IS militants destroyed poppy fields in the district and arrested a number of local people for growing poppy.
“They say this plant is Haram [prohibited in Islam] … people had cultivated poppy in a few villages but it has been destroyed,” Naeem said.
The latest attempt by ISIS loyalists to eradicate opium fields and target heroin production in Nangarhar comes despite the group received a major setback as a result of growing raids by Afghan and US forces.
Meanwhile, the Afghan national security advisor Hanif Atmar has said lst year that the loyalists of the terro group are looking to have access to drugs market by starting operations in Afghanistan.
The surge in military raids followed amid concerns that the terror group was attempting to establish a regional operational base in Nangarhar and consolidate operations with the terror group in Syria and Iraq.