The French newspaper Le Monde, in an article entitled Assad leads Captagon trafficking in the Middle East, said that Assad developed the industrial production of captagon narcotic pills in Syria, in order to circumvent international sanctions and establish loyal networks to him.
The article by Middle East expert Jean-Pierre Filiu said that Assad is convinced of his impunity, and therefore added mass production and aggressive drug marketing to a long list of crimes attributed to him, including “crimes against humanity, war crimes, organized massacres, systematic rape, campaigns of enforced disappearances, the expulsion of entire populations, etc.”
In his article, the author pointed out that Syrian territory under the control of the Assad regime “has already become the main production area of the Captagon.” He stated that international sanctions against the Assad regime prompted him to pursue a proactive policy of producing and marketing Captagon pills.
He noted that executive responsibility rests with Assad’s younger brother, Major General Maher, who leads the regime forces’ Fourth Division. Uniformed soldiers protect the production workshops of Captagon pills, while the tight network of the Fourth Division’s checkpoints throughout regime-controlled territory allows for the smooth circulation of drug shipments.
He said discouraging Assad from pursuing or even curbing such a lucrative trade has become extremely difficult, but “the Syrian tyrant can, in any way, boast of turning his country into the first drug country worthy of that name in the Middle East.”
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.