On World Anti-Drug Day, the Assad regime announced a “central national symposium” on the topic. The regime claims that it has played an important role in supporting the international community’s efforts to fight drugs — and will continue to do so. The seminar has provoked ridicule, especially given confirmed reports that the Assad regime has transformed Syria into an international hub for contraband substances. The latest episode in this transformation was subject to an investigation by the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The Interior Ministry claimed its “effective commitment to confronting this serious and destructive scourge of society.” The ministry identified Minister Major-General Mohamed Rahmoun as “chairman of the National Narcotics Commission”, claiming that the regime “participates alongside the international community, as well as conducting various other activities, supporting the fight against the phenomenon of drugs and drug trafficking.”
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“The fight against drugs is not only up to governments, but also requires cooperation from the community — be that through grass-roots organizations, community organizations, or individuals. It requires implementing more controls and alternatives to overarching plans and initiatives aimed at combating drugs,” he said.
In other news, the ministry announced, in an internal statement, “the arrest of a drug dealer in Jaramana, who deals in non-Syrian pounds. The dealer was arrested, along with his wife. and confessed to trafficking and promoting narcotics with help from his wife and daughter. The suspect will stand trial on these charges before a competent court.”
Policeman Mohammed al-Helou, a photographer for the Interior Ministry, announced the opening of a student exhibition that contained advertising groups as part of an anti-drug campaign at Damascus University’s Faculty of Applied Arts. The exhibition took place in the presence of Deputy Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Nabil al-Ghajari, several Interior Ministry officers, the college dean, and various teachers and students, he said.
The Assad regime participated in an international conference hosted by the UAE on cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. The conference occurred at the invitation of Interpol’s secretariat and in coordination with Interpol’s Middle East and North Africa office, according to the Interior Ministry.
Gandhi Farah, director of Ibn Rushd Mental Hospital in Damascus, revealed the spread of drug use in regime-controlled areas, as well as the diversification of substances being used. He indicated that new varieties have begun to emerge in recent years, adding that there is a spread of addiction among young people and children aged 14-15 years.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.