Syrian rebels trained by a U.S.-led coalition destroyed a huge cache of illegal narcotics in southern Syria funding Islamic State operations and fueling their fight on the battlefield, the Department of Defense revealed Monday.
The Free Syrian Army’s Maghawir al-Thowra militia, U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS, seized a massive stockpile of fenethylline, a powerful psychostimulant commonly known as Captagon, near At Tanf, Syria in late May, according to Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials. The seized supply of Captagon, sometimes referred to as the “jihadi’s drug” or “chemical courage,” consisted of more than 300,000 pills.
The cache, worth an estimated $1.4 million on the black market, was destroyed on June 12.
A video released by the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels on June 15 shows the destruction of what appears to be thousands of pills, which were dumped into a large barrel and set on fire. The group reaffirmed its commitment to defeating ISIS, CBS News reported Monday.
سنتعامل مع كل تجار ومروجي المخدرات بشكل قانوني وحازم ونقوم بتنظيف منطقة الـ٥٥ من كل المواد المخدرة والمسكرة التي تهلك الاسرة والمجتمع. pic.twitter.com/k9171nzKTy
— مغاوير الثورة (@MaghaweirThowra) June 15, 2018
“Our dedicated partner forces are committed to the defeat-ISIS mission,” Army Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, the commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement praising the Syrian militia unit that discovered the drugs. “This is another great example of their dedication and professionalism in the fight against ISIS and in the protection of the people of southern Syria.”
Narcotics have long served as a source of revenue for global terror networks, with opium funding Taliban forces, Captagon empowering ISIS, and methamphetamines aiding extremists in parts of Southeast Asia. The U.S. has made the destruction of narcotics operations a priority in the battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan. (RELATED: Watch The US Obliterate A Taliban Narcotics Factory)
ISIS fighters also use Captagon to stay awake for long periods of time and remain alert in combat. The addictive substance, known for giving extremists a performance boost, reportedly keeps soldiers happy and gives jihadis energy for the fight. The drug is associated with ISIS; however, its usage is believed to be prolific on all sides of the Syrian conflict, Stars and Stripes reported.
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