The Washington Post has reported that the drug trade now serves as the primary financial support for Iranian sectarian militias, labeling Bashar al-Assad as a “drug kingpin” in addition to his existing criminal charges. In a Monday opinion article, the newspaper highlighted how the Captagon trade has evolved into a tool for expanding influence for the Assad regime while becoming a major revenue source for Iranian-backed militias.
Linking the production of Captagon directly to regime forces and the Assad family, the newspaper emphasized that, alongside being a dictator and war criminal responsible for numerous deaths, Assad is now implicated in drug trafficking. The report revealed that the Assad regime has established a distribution network collaborating with Hezbollah and the Italian mafia to export Captagon globally, generating billions of dollars annually.
Despite Gulf countries seeking to mitigate the impact of Captagon by normalizing relations with Assad, hoping he would cease exports to the region, the Assad regime has continued its actions, involving middlemen associated with Iranian-backed militias in transporting drugs to the Gulf states.
The Washington Post characterized the Assad regime as more akin to a mafia organization than a state, urging the international community to treat it accordingly. The newspaper warned that if the regime persists in financing terrorism through the drug trade, the combined threats of drugs and terrorism in the region will likely worsen.
In response to this threat, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) welcomed the approval of the Captagon 2 bill, designed to combat the Assad regime’s drug trafficking. The SOC emphasized that Syria has transformed into a hub for manufacturing and exporting illegal drugs globally, posing a significant threat not only to the region but also to international peace and security. Captagon, produced and exported by the Assad regime, serves as a lucrative source of funds, sustaining the regime and its associated militias and facilitating their ongoing commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)