Activists: US-Led Airstrikes Kill 860 in Syria
Syrian activists say seven weeks of U.S.-led airstrikes have killed at least 860 people in Syria, most of them Islamic State militants.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday the actual number could be much higher, and includes at least 50 civilians.
The U.S. and a coalition of other nations began hitting Islamic State targets in Syria in late September, expanding on an air campaign against the group in Iraq where the militants had seized large areas in the country's north and west.
A tally of statistics released by the U.S. Central Command shows coalition planes have carried out 350 airstrikes in Syria and another 450 in Iraq.
Several strikes have targeted the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. The Syrian Observatory, which has documented violence throughout Syria's civil war, said Wednesday that 68 Nusra members have died in those attacks.
UN: Opium Production in Afghanistan to Hit Record High in 2014
The United Nations says opium production in Afghanistan will hit a new high this year.
A new report by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime says the country's opium harvest jumped 17 percent from last year to about 6,400 tons.
The report says total land area used for the production of opium expanded in Afghanistan by 7 percent this year to around 224,000 hectares.
Analysts say Afghanistan produces more than 80 percent of the world's illicit opium, and profits from the illegal trade help fund the Taliban insurgency.
The U.S. has spent $7.8 billion fighting the drug trade in Afghanistan since invading in 2001.