Syrian Opposition Websites Reveal New Details On Hizbullah's Involvement In Drug Manufacture In Syria, In Coordination With Syrian Regime, And In Smuggling Them Out Of The Country

August 23, 2023

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In the last two weeks, several websites associated with the Syrian opposition revealed new details about the depth of Hizbullah's involvement in the manufacture of drugs on Syrian soil, in coordination with the Syrian regime, and in the smuggling of these drugs out of the country. The reports spoke specifically about the manufacture of Captagon (a popular amphetamine drug) in eastern Syria and in the Damascus area, including a new form of the drug, and about the trafficking of drugs from Syria to Iraq.

The following are details of these reports:

On August 13, 2023, the Zaman Al-Wasl website reported that Hizbullah had begun to manufacture a new kind of Captagon pill at one of its bases in the Damascus area. According to the report, Hizbullah brought the necessary experts and equipment from Lebanon to this site, which is a large base on the outskirts of Halboun village that also houses headquarters and weapons and missiles depots. The operation is overseen by a Lebanese operative, Talal Shabib, who is in charge of spreading drugs in that region. The pills are to be disseminated in the Damascus area by operatives of Hizbullah and of the pro-regime National Defense Militia, including Abu Zahr Al-Din, who is in charge of the border areas, and Abu Khalid Zabadani, in charge of the cities of Al-Zabadani and Bloudan.[1]

On August 16, 2023, the Euphrates Post website claimed, in an "exclusive" report, that Hizbullah had opened a new "coordination office" in charge of overseeing drug trafficking between Syria and Iraq. The office is in Al-Suway'iyah, near Al-Bukamal in eastern Syria, and is manned by 15 Hizbullah members, whose main job is to coordinate with local drug smugglers. The smugglers, members of the Al-Jaghayfah Tribe from Al-Hari in the Al-Bukamal area, are tasked with carrying large amounts of the Captagon produced by Hizbullah into Iraq, via new land routes. The smuggling route was changed after Hizbullah decided to stop using the Al-Sikak border crossing for this purpose, because the Iraqi militias of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) that control the crossing charge Hizbullah high prices for its use.   

The report states further that drug trafficking has become the main source of income for the Iran-backed militias, and that Hizbullah's new coordination office provides smuggling services to other elements, including the militia of Wassim Al-Assad, the cousin of the Syrian president and one of Syria's biggest Captagon traders, and to military leaders of the Russia-backed Al-Quds Brigade militia which operates in Syria. [2]

On August 21, 2023, the Eye of Euphrates website posted an "exclusive" report about one of the largest Captagon factories of the Iran-backed militias, in the city of Al-Mayadin in eastern Syria. According to the report, the factory is on Al-Arba'in Street and is overseen by Hizbullah's Unit 313, which has both Syrian and Lebanese members. The report adds that the Iran-backed militias have placed an operative named Hisham Al-Ta'an in charge of disseminating the drug east of the Euphrates river, for he has "close ties" to figures in this area and is in charge of cells that are present there. The militias store the Captagon in a site near the factory and then disseminate it in areas controlled by the SDF.

The report is accompanied by a short video showing the Captagon factory and warehouse in Al-Mayadin, from the outside. [3]

These reports join many other reports by Syrian opposition sources in the recent years about the involvement of Hizbullah, and also of Iran's IRGC and the Iran-backed militias, in the manufacture and dissemination of drugs on Syrian soil, in collaboration with the regime, and in the trafficking of drugs in and out of Syria.[4]





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