• Mon. Oct 16th, 2023

The Biden Administration is Developing a Strategy to Combat Syria’s Captagon Trade, a Profitable Illegal Drug Trade

Avatar photo


Jul 12, 2023
Biden combats Syria's Captagon trade

The substance is trafficked into Jordan from government-controlled portions of Syria and then supplied across the Gulf region. This future approach intends to halt the flow of Captagon while also addressing its influence on regional stability.

Around 80% of worldwide Captagon manufacturing takes place in Syria, where Assad’s cronies, including Hezbollah and Iran-backed forces, have developed a successful illegal company. Captagon activities in Latakia are overseen by the Syrian Army’s Fourth Armored Division, which is led by Assad’s brother Maher al-Assad and his cousin, Samer Kamal al-Assad. 

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023 requires the Biden administration to provide to Congress a documented strategy describing diplomatic, intelligence, and law enforcement assistance to combat Assad-linked narcotics networks.

The Strategy

In the coming weeks, the Biden administration will unveil its strategy to combat the Captagon trade in Syria, which is a major source of income for Assad’s dictatorship. Congress had previously sought a report on the wealth of the Assad family, but it supplied no new information. 

Concerns have been expressed concerning the substance’s possible participation in global drug networks due to its manufacturing by Assad, his family, and his dictatorship. The proposal is being devised as Arab nations strive to negotiate with Assad, with the goal of achieving concessions such as safe circumstances for refugee returns, less Iranian influence, and a halt to the Captagon influx.

The Biden administration opposes Assad’s rehabilitation and urges governments who cooperate with him to reap reciprocal advantages. Smuggling by the government continues, as do interdiction measures. The idea of Gulf states repaying the regime by reducing Captagon output arises. The US maintains diplomatic isolation and sanctions, blacklisting critical persons under the Caesar Act

The US sustains isolation diplomatically and penalties, using the Caesar Act to blacklist crucial persons. With a House vote due shortly, bipartisan legislation attempts to broaden the Caesar Act, impose stronger sanctions, and block US recognition of Assad.