The US military in Afghanistan has released fresh videos which purportedly shows the deadly strikes on Taliban narcotics labs in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan using the M142 artillery system.
“A M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) conducts a strike on a Taliban narcotics production facility in Helmand province on December 8, 2017,” the US Force in Afghanistan said.
According to a statement by USFOR-a “The artillery strike, part of an ongoing campaign by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), resulted in the destruction of nearly $1 million in direct Taliban revenues.”
The US military says HIMARS is yet another U.S. capability being utilized to apply pressure on the Taliban, cutting off their economic lifelines and degrading their ability to continue operations.
The US military had earlier said “Carrier-based U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conduct a strike on multiple Taliban narcotics production facilities in Helmand province on December 7, 2017, as part of an ongoing campaign by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) to cut off the Taliban’s economic lifelines and degrade their ability to continue operations.”
This comes as the commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and the US forces in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson said last month that the attacks on Taliban financial engine will continue as heavy losses have been inflicted on the group and its associated in recent raids.
“In just over three days’ worth of operations, the Afghan 215th Corps, their special forces commandos, their air force, in close cooperation with U.S. forces, removed between $7 million and $10 million of revenue from the Taliban’s pocketbook,” Gen. Nicholson said.
He also added “And the overall cost to the drug trafficking organizations approached $48 million. So these strikes were just the first step in attacking the Taliban’s financial engine, and they will continue.”