Coalition: US-backed forces destroy ISIS drug cache

Coalition: US-backed forces destroy ISIS drug cache
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U.S.-supported forces have destroyed an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) drug cache worth $1.4 million, Operation Inherent Resolve said Monday.

The U.S.-backed Maghawir al-Thowra found and seized the stockpile May 31 near the U.S. outpost at al Tanf in southern Syria, the U.S.-led coalition said in a statement.

The militia then destroyed the cache on June 12, the statement added.

Maghawir al-Thowra, part of the larger Free Syrian Army, regularly patrols the area to enforce a so-called deconfliction zone, a 55 kilometer area around the U.S. outpost.

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The drug cache included more than 300,000 Captagon pills, according to the statement. The amphetamine-based drug has come to be known as the “jihadists’ drug” for its use by militants to stay awake during prolonged battles. ISIS also sells it to help fund its operations.

“Despite Daesh's façade of Islamic purity, its criminal terrorists are known drug users and traffickers,” the coalition said in its statement, using an alternate name for ISIS. “The seizure and destruction of drugs, weapons and other contraband further reduces Daesh's abilities to fund and conduct combat operations.”

Maghawir al-Thowra touted the operation in a video uploaded to its Twitter, backed with dramatic music and captions in both Arabic and English. The video showed rows of bags of white and yellow pills, thousands of pills being emptied into a barrel and the contents of the barrel being set on fire.

Captagon was first made in Germany in the 1960s, but was outlawed through much of the world in the 1980s. It continues to be popular in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, which consumes more Captagon than any other country in the world.