In a move Pentagon officials say is directed at Taliban revenue streams, US F-22 stealth fighters and B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked what they’re describing as “opium labs” in the northern part of the Helmand Province.
A pair of buildings were destroyed in the attack, which Gen. John Nicholson claimed caused “minimal collateral damage.” Nicholson noted there was a third building they didn’t attack, claiming it was to avoid civilian casualties.
Mich of Helmand Province is dedicated to opium farming, which is why the Taliban has long been interested in controlling the area. This talk of labs and factories is new, however, and it’s not clear what these buildings were actually for.
It’s been a recurring problem for the Pentagon that claims of destroying important militant facilities in airstrikes don’t ultimately prove to be true, and with recent reports of strikes destroying “ISIS bomb factories” actually just leveling a pair of civilian homes, this new claim of labs may be taken with a grain of salt.