Residents from the Iraqi city of Ramadi - once an ISIS stronghold - find plants grown and cultivated by ISIS militants to produce drugs. The manufactured drugs were sold and used as a source of income by the militant group.
In the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s western Anbar Province, residents have discovered plants that ISIS had been using to manufacture illegal drugs in their area. The residents of the area confirmed that these plants, which did not exist before ISIS’ control, were being cultivated by the militant group to manufacture illicit drugs.
According to observers, the city of Ramadi, which was captured by ISIS in January 2014, provided a suitable environment to cultivate plants to be used in the drug trade.
“In 2014, we did not have any [of these] trees here. When we returned, we found several trees in addition to this plant. We cut and burned it but did not know its type or even its effect,” said a resident of Ramadi. “Recently, we knew it had an effect.”
Locals said that they discovered that these ‘new’ plants were harmful once kids started becoming sick after being around these plants.
“The doctors then told the children’s parents that their children were drugged,” said another local man. “We came to this plant, and it turned out to contain drugs.”
While publically opposing the use and manufacture of drugs and cigarettes and punishing locals who used and sold them, locals who lived under ISIS’ rule said that the militant group used to cultivate, manufacture and sell different kinds of illicit drugs in order to finance their militant operations throughout Iraq and Syria.
Furthermore, arrested ISIS militants have also claimed that they were convinced into using drugs by their leaders, who used the drug Captagon to stimulate the fighters and ensure that they remained on the battlefield despite hunger or thirst.
Since the discovery of this plant, the residents of Ramadi have demanded that these plants be removed because it is harming them and their children.
Now that the country is liberated from ISIS, the Iraqi Government should make further efforts to hunt down ISIS financiers and sleeper cells, who have been relying on the manufacturing and selling of drugs to finance the militant group.