Drug trafficking | Nearly ten drug traffickers, including group leader, of Hezbollah and 4th Division-backed groups killed and injured in attempt to traffic drugs into Jordan • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Drug trafficking | Nearly ten drug traffickers, including group leader, of Hezbollah and 4th Division-backed groups killed and injured in attempt to traffic drugs into Jordan

Significant increase in drug trafficking and establishing "Captagon" factories in southern Syria to trafficking them to Jordan and Gulf countries

Groups affiliated with the Lebanese “Hezbollah” and the “4th Division,” headed by the brother of the president of the Syrian regime, “Maher Al-Assad,” continue to traffic drugs from Lebanon to areas in Daraa and Al-Suwaydaa with the aim of bringing them into Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Arab Gulf States.

In this context, very reliable sources have informed SOHR that local militias are affiliated with Hezbollah has recently stepped up trafficking narcotics and raw materials for Captagon pill industry from Lebanon to areas in Al-Qalamoun in Rif Dimashq and Al-Qusayr in Homs countryside and then to southern Syria.

The drug trafficking is coordinated by regimw officers of the Military Intelligence Branch.

SOHR sources have also confirmed that although Jordan thwarted dozens of attempts to bring narcotics into Jordan, many shipments also brought into Jordan from the southern Al-Suwaydaa desert.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, four smugglers were killed, and six others were injured, some seriously, after they were ambushed by the Jordan Arab Army, during the group’s attempt to traffic a drug shipment into Jordan from Al-Suwaydaa desert.

Among the dead was the leader of the group that was ambushed by the Arab Army, a relative of a former faction commander of Maghaweer Al-Thawrah.

The killed leader had left the 55-kilometre zone which is controlled by the International Coalition and faction in April 2020 and headed to regime-controlled areas in Palmyra in Homs countryside.

The leader works in the drug trade and has close ties to leaders of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and heads a local drug-dealing group in the southern region of Syria. The local group includes dozens of drug dealers from Daraa and Al-Suwaydaa.

In mid February 2022, SOHR reported that smuggling of narcotics, weapons and people between the Syria and Jordan, especially from Al-Suwaidaa which is known for its rugged mountainous terrain, started to escalate rapidly, after regime forces and their proxy militias had captured areas on the Syria-Jordan border a few years ago. Operations of smuggling drugs to Jordan to deliver them to the Arabian Peninsula recently topped the events in light of the almost-daily security campaigns by Jordanian Border Guards who foiled many of these operations and confiscated massive shipments of drugs from Syria.

 

Groups involved in drug business

 

According to very reliable SOHR sources, several armed groups affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah and officers of the Syrian regime export drugs and weapons and helped people to smuggle themselves to Jordan. These groups are prevalent in “Al-Safa and Al-Jah”, an area known for its mountainous nature and located nearly 25 kilometres to the east of Al-Suwaidaa, near Al-Sha’ab village which is nearly ten kilometres away from the border with Jordan.

 

One of these armed groups is affiliated to the Syrian regime and led by a man called “Sa’oud Al-Ramsan” who has strong ties with the Lebanese Hezbollah and regime-backed local militiamen from Al-Suwaidaa. This group deliver drugs and weapons from Syria to Lebanon, with the help of a smaller group affiliated to the Lebanese Hezbollah, which escort the shipment and secure the way to Jordan.

 

“Al-Abasat group” is also affiliated with commanders of the Lebanese Hezbollah and works in smuggling narcotics from Syria to Jordan.

 

Another armed group is prevalent in Kherbet Matoutah mountainous area in Al-Suwaidaa desert where many caves and bunkers are located. This group is led by a man called “Ghannam Al-Khudair Abu Hamza” from Dumayr city in Rif Dimashq and known for his bilateral ties with individuals inside Jordan, and he is a relative of a Syrian businessman. According to SOHR sources, groups affiliated to the Lebanese Hezbollah deliver drugs and weapons to Ghannam’s group with the aim to smuggle them into Jordan. The smuggling operations are carried out after coordination between the smugglers or the groups’ leader and influential figures in Jordan. It is worth noting that smugglers deliberately wait for times of harsh weather and transport drugs and weapons shipments across the border under the cover of rain, snowfall, fogs, windstorms or sandstorms.

 

Expired illicit pills tipped off, for distracting Border Guards from other narcotics shipments

 

Reliable sources have told SOHR that the confiscation of large amounts of expired illicit pills by Jordanian Border Guards take place after coordination with figures inside Jordan on many occasions, with the aim to distract the Border Guards against other narcotics shipments smuggled later into Jordan.

 

From Lebanon’s Beqaa to Al-Suwaidaa, the starting point of drugs shipment to Jordan

 

Observatory sources had reported earlier that trucks carrying drugs set off from Baalbek area in Lebanon, escorted by guards of military groups of regime security services affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah, and head to the barren mountains of Qalamoun then to Al-Suwaidaa province in south Syria region where the drugs were stored in warehouses. These drugs later were smuggled to Jordan or sold in Al-Suwaidaa province, which experiences a state of security instability.

 

It is worth noting that a kilo of hashish is sold for 300,000 to 400,000 SYL, equivalent to 110 USD. In Jordan, however, hashish is sold to dealers for 250 USD per kilo.

 

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), have been all along warning against the disastrous situation in Syria with the Syrian regime clinging only to power, disregarding the sufferings of the Syrian people. The Syrian Observatory would like to point out the threats posed by the prevalence of drugs across the entire Syrian geography, particularly regime-held areas. We also renew our appeal to the international community not to abandon their responsibility and obligations to finding a lasting solution to the tragedy of millions of Syrians who have already been grappling with chronic crises during a protracted war raging for over a decade.

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