المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

People close to the “Lebanese Hezbollah” promote drugs in wadi Barada schools in Rif Dimashq

Rif Dimashq Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the phenomenon of using of drugs and narcotic substances spread in several schools in villages and towns of Wadi Barada in the west of Rif Dimashq, under the supervision of militiamen loyal to the “Lebanese Hezbollah” from the area, and the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the use of hashish and narcotic pills in “Deir Muqrin” village in Wadi Barada has become widespread in the village’s high school, where the phenomenon has become a normal thing among the students, and the promoters are working to distribute some kinds of narcotic pills in sports clubs of young people almost free of charge claiming that they are stimulant pills, with the aim of attracting young people to be addicted to them and ask for more later, also several militia members of the Lebanese Hezbollah in the area and others belong to the military security branch; are using the promotion of hashish and narcotic pills as a major source of livelihood, where teenagers and school students are the first target in the market, local sources told the Syrian Observatory that members of the militia forced some middle and high school students to work in trafficking and promoting drugs within their schools; in exchange for giving them their requirements of pills free of charge, and the sources said that members of a group of the 4th Division who are a loyal force in Wadi Barada; are using stalls scattered in the villages of Kfir al-Zeit, Deir Muqrin, Hussainiyah, and Efreh as major centers for selling those pills publicly, in conjunction with marketing for the phenomenon of abuse as if it is a normal thing, also the hashish and narcotic pills are entering the area from the Lebanese Beqaa Valley through Flita town in the Western Qalamoun, under the supervision of prominent Hezbollah leaders and their local militias in the area.

The Syrian Observatory published on the 7th of September 2019 that sporadic clashes took place with light weapons in the barren mountains of Flita and Qara in the Western Qalamoun west of Rif Dimashq during the past 2 days, between militias belong to the Lebanese Hezbollah against the NDF militia, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: dispute took place between a family who takes the lead of NDF in the barren mountains of the Western Qalamoun, against leaders in militias loyal to Hezbollah, after a leader of the NDF demanded a percentage of profit higher than the amount the militia charges for the smuggled shipments, where militia of the NDF raised the readiness of their fighters declaring full alert, in conjunction with deploying their members of the entrances of Flita town supported by heavy and medium machine guns, forcing the militias loyal to Hezbollah to stop their cargo in “al-Qasira area”, keeping it out of sight of the NDF, and bring new reinforcements to the ” al-Qasira outpost” on the Syrian – Lebanese border fearing any surprise attack against their positions, where the value of the suspended shipment which was decided to be transferred to Homs and Latakia provinces is estimated to be around US$ 4 million, where the NDF militia charges half a million U.S. dollars for contributing in entering the drug shipments from the Lebanese territories via the barren mountains of the Western Qalamoun.

The Syrian Observatory published on the 3rd of September 2019 that the Syrian Observatory learned that violent clashes broke out between gunmen loyal to the “Lebanese Hezbollah” against the NDF militia loyal to the Syrian regime, in the border town of Qara with Lebanon in the Western Qalamoun, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: clashes broke out with medium and light weapons between gunmen loyal to the Lebanese Hezbollah and the NDF militia of the regime in the barren mountains of Qara city, which connects the Syrian territory with Lebanese territory, and considered one of the most prominent barren mountains used in smuggling fuel and drugs to and from Syria, the reason for the clash is a dispute between both parties on the profits of a drug deal that was on its way to Syria through the barren mountains of Qara town, then the dispute developed to the outbreak of an armed clash which lasted for about an hour between both parties, in which Hezbollah brought military reinforcements to the area.

The Syrian Observatory published on the 5th of August 2019 that the Lebanese Hezbollah positioned in the Western Qalamoun in Rif Dimashq continues to prevent the residents of al-Jobeh town of Assal al-Ward area from returning to their homes, where Hezbollah has been controlling it since 2013, despite the repeated attempts by the people to reach an agreement allowing them to live there, where militias of Hezbollah imposed a tight security cordon at the entrances and exits of the town, they also established a security checkpoint at the main entrance known as the “al-Qaws Checkpoint” and issued a decision not to go out or in without a security clearance issued by the command of its forces in the area, members of Hezbollah also controlled tens of houses in various parts of the town, particularly, the Market Street in the middle of the town which is considered to be the largest area of position in the town, taking of it military headquarters and housing for families of the members they bring from Lebanon, and Hezbollah refused to leave the houses despite repeated attempts by tens of the original families of the town in the past 5 years, arguing that a member of these families belongs to the opposition factions.

Local sources from the area confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that Hezbollah takes the barren mountains of al-Jobeh as its main position points and deployment in the Western al-Qalamoun, and uses its natural caves as warehouses for its weapons, noting that Hezbollah has set up several camps there to train the newly affiliated members of Syrian and Lebanese nationalities, the sources added that the members planted mines on the dirt rough roads between al-Jobeh town and its barren mountains , and in the vicinity of its new camps, in addition to establishing a prison to put detainees of the area in it, of those whose cases are related to Hezbollah itself. This interest by Hezbollah in this area comes from its rugged and difficult barren mountains for the heavy machinery, as well as its proximity to the Syrian – Lebanese border, which facilitates the movement of its members and shipments through illegal crossings it takes as main roads.

The Syrian Observatory published on the 30th of June 2019 that the Syrian Observatory learned from several reliable sources that militias of the Lebanese Hezbollah abruptly over the past week withdrew from some of their positions in Qara town of the Western Qalamoun north of the capital Damascus, where groups of Hezbollah withdrew from al-Karab neighborhood which has been controlled by Hezbollah since late November 2013, after violent clashes back then ended with the regime forces supported by Hezbollah controlling Qara town; after the factions withdrew to the outskirts of the barren mountains of Qara, also other groups of Hezbollah withdrew from neighborhoods of the Municipal stadium, al-Baydar, and the western neighborhood of the town, the sources added to the Syrian Observatory that the withdrawals included the withdraw of all military checkpoints of Hezbollah on the road between Qara and its barren mountains, in addition to withdrawing from the hospital area and evacuating all its military headquarters and depots of weapons and ammunition, also groups of Syrian nationality of the Lebanese Hezbollah have withdrawn directly, after which regime’s national Defense forces deployed to all sites from which Hezbollah has withdrawn.

Local sources reported to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the withdrawal process some of which took place toward Zabadani area west of Rif Dimashq, which has several military headquarters of Hezbollah, where the regime forces with the support of the Lebanese Hezbollah entered the city in April 2017, following an agreement between the military factions and the regime forces end with displacing the factions and their families to the Syrian north, and the sources added that the Lebanese Hezbollah is still positioned in a military barracks it established years ago after entering the area and it is located west of Qara.

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