Afghan poppy crop could fuel new Taliban attacks: US general

Afghan farmers harvest opium sap from a poppy field in Zari District of Kandahar province on April 12, 2016A bumper poppy crop in Afghanistan will help fund the Taliban and likely lead to fresh attacks on Afghan security forces after the harvest, a US general said Thursday. Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, a senior spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said fighting in Helmand province had actually dipped in recent weeks while members of the Taliban harvest poppy fields — but warned the lull was temporary. “As the harvest really concludes here, and we think it concludes really as soon as this week, we do expect to see an uptick in the Taliban efforts to attack the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces),” Cleveland said in a video call with Pentagon reporters.

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