SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi forces killed a prominent dealer in Baghdad on Saturday, the country’s security media cell said.
In a statement, the Iraqi military said units from the national security service carried out an operation at dawn on Saturday to detain one of the “most prominent and dangerous” drug dealers in Baghdad.
“The criminal confronted the forces which led to his killing,” the Iraqi security media cell added.
An Iraqi officer was also killed and another was wounded during the operation, it stated.
A security source told Shafaq News that the operation was carried out in al-Basateen neighborhood, north of Baghdad.
Until about eight years ago, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, Iraq was essentially a transit country, meaning most drugs passed through on their way to somewhere else.
Iraqi security forces detained 11,500 people over drug using and trafficking in 2020, according to the Anti-Drug Department.
“Iraq was only a conduit for narcotics before 2003, but it has now become a consumer of them,” director of the anti-drug department Zya Hussein said.
In Kurdistan Region, officials have warned that drug trafficking threatens to become an epidemic if anti-narcotics forces fail to curtail its rise in the Kurdistan Region.