Special Forces support Afghan National Security Forces in dismantling insurgent drug network

A spe­cial­ist counter-nar­cotics unit with­in the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Force, sup­port­ed by Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces has dis­man­tled a major insur­gent drug net­work after tar­get­ing and destroy­ing the largest nar­cotics cache that the com­bined force has found this year.

On 19 July, mem­bers of the Afghan Nation­al Inter­dic­tion Unit (NIU) sup­port­ed by the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group (SOTG) con­duct­ed a mis­sion into Baghran dis­trict, Hel­mand, to help sev­er the link between the insur­gency and the illic­it nar­cotics trade. 

Despite con­tin­u­ous con­tact with insur­gents, the com­bined force seized six tonnes of pre­cur­sor chem­i­cals, six kilo­grams of pure hero­in, 12 kilo­grams of mor­phine, over 400 kilo­grams of opi­um and hash, two opi­um press­es and a large quan­ti­ty of drug man­u­fac­tur­ing materials. 

It is esti­mat­ed that near­ly 250 kilo­grams of hero­in was being processed when the com­bined force com­menced operations. 

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of the SOTG (CO SOTG), said the mis­sion would have a pro­found effect on the insur­gency in Hel­mand and sur­round­ing provinces, includ­ing Uruzgan. 

Find­ing and destroy­ing a cache of this size will impact heav­i­ly on the insur­gency as they strive to muster fight­ers and funds for the remain­der of the fight­ing season,” 

CO SOTG said. 

We have removed a key source of fund­ing and sup­ply into Uruz­gan, cur­tail­ing plans and their abil­i­ty to con­duct attacks on ISAF and local forces.” 

Counter nar­cotics mis­sions have extreme­ly pos­i­tive flow on effects. We are push­ing insur­gents out of heav­i­ly pop­u­lat­ed areas, instill­ing greater con­fi­dence in the local peo­ple and improv­ing the secu­ri­ty, devel­op­ment and gov­er­nance in south­ern Afghanistan,” CO SOTG said. 

The mis­sion also yield­ed 27 Rock­et Pro­pelled Grenade (RPG) boost­ers, sev­er­al weapons and a large quan­ti­ty of ammunition. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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