SOHR exclusive | Iranian-backed militias plant hashish and run seven narcotic-manufacturing laboratories in Deir Ezzor city and countryside • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Iranian-backed militias plant hashish and run seven narcotic-manufacturing laboratories in Deir Ezzor city and countryside

As Iranian forces and their proxy militias are exerting tenacious efforts to entrench their presence in Syria, they have tried every possible way to increase their resources. Recently, “drug business” has become the most major source of income for Iranian-backed militias in Syria, especially in areas under their control in Deir Ezzor countryside, namely west Euphrates region which has been turned into Iran’s “autonomous colony” in Syria.

 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) continues monitoring and tracking the issue of rampant drug business in Deir Ezzor, as a part of SOHR’s moral duty to document and disclose all violations committed across Syria. In addition, SOHR has been eager to highlight the frequent appeals by residents in areas under the control of Iranian-backed militias, who expressed their deep concern about the threats posed by the Iranian-led rampant drug business in their cities, towns and villages and repercussions of this worrying phenomenon, typically the escalation of crimes, which is a by-product of the aggressive and irresponsible behaviour of drug abusers.

 

In the following report, SOHR would like to shed light on manufacture and promotion of narcotics in Deir Ezzor and disclose militias involved in this business.

 

 

Locations of narcotic-manufacturing plants

 

Iranian-backed militias had brought in illicit drugs to areas under their control in Deir Ezzor from manufacturing laboratories in Al-Qusayr in the south-eastern countryside of Homs or areas in Rif Dimashq on the Syria border with Lebanon. These areas in Homs and Rif Dimashq are under complete supervision by the Lebanese Hezbollah which is the most prominent exporter of drugs to Deir Ezzor. However, the prevalence of drug business in Deir Ezzor and smuggling operations to areas outside the Syrian regime’s control and to other countries have spurred Iranian-backed militias manufacture narcotics inside Deir Ezzor. Accordingly, these militias have established primitive plants and laboratories for manufacturing illicit drugs in different areas in Deir Ezzor city and countryside, so that they can avoid the risks of transporting drug shipments to other provinces, including attacks and armed robberies; let alone the expenses of transporting these shipments from one area to another.

 

Through ongoing monitoring of the manufacture of narcotics in Dier Ezzor, SOHR sources have been able to identify the locations of seven illicit drug-manufacturing laboratories in areas under the control of Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor city and countryside; they are as follows:

 

  • A villa in Al-Qusour neighbourhood in Deir Ezzor city.

 

  • A primitive plant near Bahrat Afrah in Al-Qusour neighbourhood in Deir Ezzor city.

 

  • A building near the headquarters of the electrical and mechanical engineering institution in “Port Said” street in Al-Ommal neighbourhood in Deir Ezzor city.

 

  • A primitive plant near Al-Mu’alimeen park (the Teachers’ Park) in Deir Ezzor city.

 

  • A primitive plant in Al-Khanat area on the outskirts of Al-Mayadeen city, east of Deir Ezzor.

 

  • A primitive plant in Al-Hezam area in Al-Bokamal city, east of Deir Ezzor.

 

  • A primitive plant in Al-Villat street in Al-Bokamal city, east of Deir Ezzor.

 

SOHR confidently estimates that the total number of plants and laboratories where narcotics are manufactured is much higher. However, SOHR activists were unable to detect them because of the strict security measures by Iranian-backed militias and the extreme secrecy shrouding laboratories in different areas across Deir Ezzor.

 

On the other hand, Iranian-backed militias started planting “hashish” months ago in farmlands in Sa’lu and Al-Zabari in the east of the province. These farmlands belong to civilians who have been forced to displace to other areas. In addition, hashish is planted in other farms known as “Mazare’ Al-Dawlah (the State’s Farms) in the same countryside.

 

Here is a list of Iranian-backed militias involved in drug business in Deir Ezzor province:

 

  • Lebanese Hezbollah.

 

  • Iraqi Hezbollah.

 

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

 

  • Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haqq militia which is affiliated to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces.

 

  • Harakat Al-Abdal militia (Al-Abdal Movement) which is affiliated to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces.

 

  • National Defence Forces (NDF).

 

  • The 4th Division.

 

  • Militias of “Jaysh Al-Ashayer” which comprises tribesmen from Al-Bakarah, Al-Bosaraya and Al-She’aytat tribes.

 

Those militias are entrusted to various tasks and missions, including protection, securing raw materials needed for manufacturing narcotics, securing roads, supervising drug business, providing logistical support, promotion and smuggling operations. The Lebanese Hezbollah brings in compressors from Al-Qusayr area in the south-west of Homs to the primitive plants in Deir Ezzor. In addition, the Lebanese Hezbollah shares the IRGC the securing of raw materials needed for manufacturing tablets of captagon, chemical name fenethylline which is an amphetamine derivative.

 

According to very reliable SOHR sources, Lebanese and Iranian experts supervise the manufacture of narcotics and plantation of hashish in areas under the control of Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor city and countryside.

 

Meanwhile, the role of the remaining militias is confined to promotion of drug trafficking, protection and smuggling operations to SDF-controlled areas and other countries through Iraq.

 

SOHR vows to continue monitoring and tracking the rampant narcotics business in Deir Ezzor and to disclose further details about illicit drug trafficking and smuggling operations and all implicated figures and entities with the aim of curbing this business.