Anti-ISIS Coalition Destroys Large Cache of Narcotics in Syria

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June 18, 2018

U.S.-led coalition forces fighting the Islamic State destroyed a large cache of narcotics owned by the terrorist group in southern Syria last week, officials announced Monday.

The coalition's Maghawir al-Thowra partners seized the drugs, estimated to have a black market value of $1.4 million, near At Tanf, Syria, on May 31, before they were destroyed last Tuesday, according to the Department of Defense.

The Maghawir al-Thowra militia, which is part of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, found the drugs during counter-ISIS operations in the 34-mile deconfliction zone near At Tanf.

More than 300,000 pills of Captagon, an amphetamine-type narcotic frequently trafficked and used by ISIS members, were in the cache. Militants often use the addictive drug to stay awake and alert during operations.

Narcotics trafficking is a major source of income for ISIS, which has seen its territory all but disappear in the last several months. The terrorist group still maintains a presence in Syria, however, and the U.S. has about 2,000 soldiers in the country with the mission to root out its remains.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James Jarrard—commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the task force set up by the U.S.-led international coalition to fight ISIS—praised Maghawir al-Thowra's discovery of the drugs in a statement.

"Our dedicated partner forces are committed to the defeat-ISIS mission," he said. "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."