US release new videos of heavy airstrikes on Taliban narcotics factories
By Khaama Press - Sun Apr 08 2018, 9:42 am
The US Military has released new videos showing the heavy airstrikes on Taliban narcotics factories in Western Farah and Nimroz province of Afghanistan.
The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan in a report stated that the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducted strikes on 11 Taliban narcotics production facilities in Farah and Nimroz provinces April 3-5, expanding their counter-revenue efforts against the Taliban beyond Helmand and Southern Afghanistan.
The report further adds that the precision airstrikes, conducted by U.S. F-16s, A-10s and MQ-9s, are the first in western Afghanistan in support of the counter-revenue campaign designed to degrade the Taliban’s primary means of funding its operations – narcotic production.
“The Taliban will have no safe havens. We will continue to exploit their networks and decimate their ability to develop narcotics,” said Maj. Gen. James Hecker, commander, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan. “They have become a criminal organization that profits from selling drugs and using those funds to conduct operations that maim and kill Afghans. By cutting off the Taliban’s economic lifelines, we also reduce their ability to continue these terrorist activities.”
According to the Resolute Support report, these strikes occurred as advisers from Resolute Support’s Train, Advise, Assist Command-West were conducting an Expeditionary Advisory Package with the ANDSF in Farah Province. The TAAC-W advising teams ensure better coordination of operations against the Taliban in Farah.
The Taliban counter-revenue campaign, which began in November 2017, has continued without pause through the winter, impacting narcotics processing that generates an estimated $200 million in revenue for the Taliban through production and taxation.
Overall, since November 2017, the campaign has conducted 75 strikes against narcotics production facilities in Afghanistan and continues to remove revenue from the Taliban criminal network. The counter-revenue campaign continues to demonstrate the U.S. and ANDSF’s collective resolve to fight terrorism and bring stability and peace to Afghanistan.
“We will continue to help the Afghan security forces to send a clear message to the Taliban: they will not win on the battlefield,” Hecker said. “The only way they can have a peaceful solution is to sit down and reconcile with the National Unity Government.”