Narcotics in Syria | Hezbollah cronies are major drug exporters to Syria, while NDF officers and members tasked of marketing drugs via local dealers
Proliferation of “hashish” and illicit pills is noticeably escalating throughout Syria, especially among youth, as they are sold in public in all regime-controlled areas, Damascus and Rif Dimashq in particular, and at lower prices than in other countries. Accordingly, it is easy for anyone to get drugs which could be available even in supermarkets and cloth stores.
Reliable SOHR sources have confirmed that military groups affiliated to the Lebanese Hezbollah are the ones responsible for the broad proliferation of hashish and pills across regime-controlled areas, as cargoes of hashish are still allowed to cross, via nonofficial crossings, from Lebanon to several areas under the control of Hezbollah in Rif Dimashq. These crossings include a crossing in Sarghaya area on the border with Lebanon and Assal Al-Ward, which is one of the most prominent areas where cargoes of hashish cross into Syria, as well as the nonofficial crossings with Al-Qusayr city in Homs countryside supervised by officers and members of the regime-backed “National Defence Forces” (NDF).
A civilian from Damascus known by his initials as M.A. who is as an employee in a regime governmental circle has told SOHR that “the area of Al-Baramekah in the capital, Damascus, became a hotbed for the dealers of hashish and pills. These dealers were seen standing on street corners with their hands in their pockets, waiting for boys, girls and even children and sell them drugs in public. I did see one of such deals when a young man bought hashish from a drug dealer, while I was waiting for a bus.”
In Rif Dimashq, however, narcotics trafficking is prevalent throughout the province. In this context, a civilian known by his initials as S.Q. from Sarghaya area in Rif Dimashq said to SOHR “hashish trafficking and love have become the career of the jobless. Every young man has a little money goes to NDF officers, buy a little hashish and sell it to other young people,” hinting to the considerable proliferation of hashish among the youth. It is worth noting that all provinces under the control of the Syrian regime are struggling with the same issue, especially since Syria became the only outlet for the Lebanese Hezbollah’s cronies to sell and market narcotics.
In earlier reports, the Syrian Observatory repeatedly shed light on the wide proliferation of narcotics across Syria, along with the lack of government surveillance and deterrence measures, as SOHR reported on April 9, 2020, that the Russian military police stormed a warehouse owned by a Syrian person who was close to the Lebanese Hezbollah, containing drugs in Ma’raba area in the western Rif Dimashq. According to SOHR sources, the Russian military police raided a warehouse with large amounts of drugs in it, brought in from Lebanon a week earlier. The raid came after many complaints by the town’s dignitaries to Russian military police over the widely proliferation of drugs among the youth in the area. Such drugs were being marketed and sold by Syrian people loyal to the Lebanese Hezbollah. “All drugs in the warehouse have been confiscated, but there are no further details about the fate of the person who is responsible for this shipment whether being arrested or not” the sources added.
While in early 2020, SOHR sources reported that fierce armed fight flared up in the town of Felita in western Qalamoun, between armed members of the “Lebanese Hezbollah” and NDF. According to SOHR sources, clashes took place on Friday between both parties with use of medium weapons, and lasted for hours. The clashes were concentrated at the NDF checkpoint of Al-Aqabah near the barren mountains of Felita and extended to barren mountains under control of Hezbollah-backed militiamen. The clashes left seven members in the ranks of both parties injured. SOHR sources also reported that the fight flared up after a dispute over the profit of drug trafficking between NDF commanders and commanders loyal to Hezbollah.