Afghan and U.S. forces conducted combined operations to strike drug labs and command-and-control nodes in northern Helmand province.

USAF F-22 Raptor airstrike Afghanistan
USAF F-22 Raptor conducts first airstrike in Afghanistan

November 20, 2017 - U.S. and Afghan forces conducted a series of strikes over the past 24 hours against Taliban drug labs, to target the revenue streams of the terrorists, according to the Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander.

The combined operations struck seven Taliban drug labs and one command-and-control node in northern Helmand province, Army Gen. John W. Nicholson told Pentagon reporters today.

Nicholson, who spoke via teleconference from Kabul, Afghanistan, said northern Helmand is the so-called emirate of the Taliban where the terrorists have enjoyed relative freedom of action and where much of their drug enterprise is located.

“Specifically, in striking northern Helmand and the drug enterprises there, we're hitting the Taliban where it hurts, which is their finances,” he said.

Related post: 20 YEARS OF F-22 RAPTOR

The Afghan air force led the strikes yesterday with A-29 Super Tucano attacks against drug labs and then, last night, they were supported by U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses and other strike aircraft, to include the F-22 Raptor, the general said.

The Raptor assigned to the 95th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, as well as one KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron. The tanker aircraft refueled the stealth fighter during its route to the battlespace.

Photo credits: USAF

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