The Assad regime-controlled areas of Syria have long been associated with drug trafficking, and neighboring countries like Jordan and Turkey continue to grapple with the influx of illicit drugs, particularly Captagon pills, originating from these regions.
In a recent incident, Jordanian authorities successfully intercepted a smuggling attempt involving a staggering 565,000 Captagon pills originating from Syria. The operation, which was thwarted at the Naseeb border crossing, was the result of a collaborative effort between customs personnel stationed at the Jaber border customs post and security services. The pills were skillfully concealed within a specially prepared compartment in a truck, prompting the spokesperson for the Jordanian Customs Department to emphasize the continuous efforts to combat drug smuggling and protect the national economy and citizens.
Furthermore, Jordan has been facing consistent attempts to smuggle drugs from Syria since the Syrian regime gained control of the Daraa governorate in mid-2018. These attempts have taken various forms, including the use of drones, as evidenced by the recent interception of a drone carrying drugs after crossing the border with Syria. In response to the escalating threat, Jordan has sought assistance from long-time ally the US, requesting the deployment of the Patriot system on its northern border with Syria.
Similarly, Turkey has not been immune to the impact of drug trafficking from Syria. Turkish customs officers recently arrested a Turkish citizen on charges of drug trafficking after seizing approximately 4 kg of narcotic pills hidden in a compartment inside his car. The arrest occurred during a search at the commercial crossing in the city of Ras Al-Ain, north of Al-Hasakah, as the individual attempted to cross into Turkey.
The continued flow of drugs from Assad regime-controlled areas of Syria into neighboring countries underscores the persistent challenges posed by drug trafficking in the region. These illicit activities not only threaten the security and well-being of citizens but also have significant implications for the national economies of these countries.
As Assad regime areas continue to manufacture and traffic drugs to neighboring countries the international community needs to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the ongoing threat of increased trafficking of Assad’s narcotics network.