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US Launches Airstrikes in First Operation Targeting Afghan Opium


The United States has launched its first counter-narcotics military offensive in partnership with local allies in Afghanistan to try to deprive the resurgent Taliban of its largest source of funding. The move follows years of criticism that international forces are not doing enough to curb the opium trade. Speaking in Kabul Monday, General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. troops and NATO’s Resolute Support military mission, shared details of the coalition’s first overnight counter narcotics airstrikes. He said the bombing campaign destroyed major Taliban narcotics production facilities in Helmand, the main poppy producing southern Afghan province, depriving the insurgent group of major revenues. “Our estimates indicate that more than $200 million from this illegal economy was going into the pockets of the Taliban”, the general noted.


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