The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Tribal elders and politicians call, through SOHR, to curb Iranian expansion in Deir Ezzor and warn against rampant drug business

It is common knowledge that Iranian-backed militias commit blatant violations against humanity in Deir Ezzor city and countryside, as well as different areas across the entire Syrian geography, in order to wreak havoc and shed blood of more Syrians.


Iran has tried every possible way to entrench its presence in Syria, west Euphrates region in particular, and impose its influence and predominance in this strategic area. As a part of implementing an evil scheme set earlier, Iranian-backed militias has turned to promote illicit drugs, the easiest way to undermine young people who can be relied on to liberate and reconstruct Syria, exploiting the stifling economic hardship and weak social relationships because of the ongoing war.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has been all along warning against narcotic trafficking throughout Syria, mainly in north-east Euphrates region which has become a hotbed to this illegal business. Trafficking of drugs, particularly captagon, has secured an illegal and rapid major income for Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor and other areas across Syria.


In an exclusive interview with SOHR, the leader in the Syrian National Coalition, Abdullah Kadu has called Syrian young people to foil the Iranian plot, as he says “It is common knowledge now that promoting drug is related to entities and powers controlling non-international regimes, which adopt specific ideologies under a cover of political, nationalist, religious and sectarian slogans. Those organisations practice the policy of double standards produced on media contents directed to international powers, under a cover of sacred slogans, such as religion, martyrs and the nation.”


Kadu has pointed out that these powers practically implement their policies which are based on oppression and centralisation, and they improve their economy by collecting revenue by force, clarifying that they depend on illicit drug production and trafficking to support their terrorist policies. “All terrorist militias and parties follow such practices, mainly those which are affiliated with the Iranian regime in north and east Syria, including Deir Ezzor, Al-Hasakah and Al-Raqqah, where the Iranians focus on undermining young people whether by luring them to persuade them to adopt Shiite ideology or driving them to doom through the gate of drug addiction, so that Iran’s scheme will face no resistance. We call upon young people in Syria in general, and the people of this area in particular, to be aware, never abuse drugs and cling on your land in order not to give the chance to Iranian-backed militias to impose their predominance on that region.”


Ibrahim Mohamed Al-Hadi, a dignitary of Al-Musa Al-Zaher tribe from Al-Afadilah Al-Sha’baniyah clan in Al-Raqqah, has told SOHR “the phenomenon of drug trafficking and abusing in Deir Ezzor has emerged recently with the help of foreign powers. The growing drug business, which considerably affected young people in the area, is attributed to Iran’s presence in that area and the escalating rate of crimes. There are a lot of evidence proving that Persian militias were the body funding this illegal business and working on spreading this pest as a part of their ongoing efforts to impose their control on the area and announce the launching of the Shiite Crescent project. Iran has established laboratories for producing narcotics in areas it dominates across Syria in order to export them to regional countries, such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.”


Addressing young people of Deir Ezzor, Sheikh Ibrahim says, “in this period, we are in the midst of the most difficult phases of the Syrian Revolution, which has been turned into a civil and ideological war. So, we support you to counter the Iranian scheme which is designed to destroy the area. We, the tribes of Al-Raqqah, oppose this cheap exploitation by Iran which seeks to destroy our young people and let them face uncertain and unpleasant future. We are a people who likes to live in peace. We have fed up with division and wars, and we will continue our support to Syria Democratic Forces to counter crimes and protect the society from all threats.” Sheikh Ibrahim also called for exercising caution and staying away from these groups which have come to the area only to destroy it.


On the other hand, Sheikh Abboud Al-Aswad, a dignitary of Al-Ekaydat tribe in Al-Shuhayl area in Deir Ezzor, has told SOHR that illicit drug promotion in Deir Ezzor has become a worrying phenomenon, as he sees that Iranian-backed militias, which run drug business in this area, have proved their evil intention to corrupt young people. The man says, “I call upon the civil and human rights Syrian society, the people of Deir Ezzor and all young Syrians to be careful and never deal with those criminal militias which are working on destroying young people who are the future of Syria. Countering these militias, in every way possible, is a moral and national duty  to bring peace and stability.”


Sheikh Abboud has clarified that Tehran is now the de-facto ruler of Syria, especially with the great alliance with the Syrian regime which allows Iranians to move comfortably and do what they want in Syrian territory. Sheikh Abboud has noted out that Iranian-backed militias went far to promote illicit drugs as part of a new type of invasion, as well as the instilling their ideologies into children and young people through establishing “hosayniyas,” congregation halls for Twelver Shia Muslim commemoration ceremonies, for their proxy militiamen, where the Shiite Azan (call to prayers) is used and Shiite rituals are practiced. He has also praised the efforts of Syria Democratic Forces regarding curbing Iranian expansion, stressing that there are some corrupt commanders among SDF, and that they have involved into drug business for financial gains. However, the Autonomous Administration lacks powerful security system to counter Iran’s inhumane plans, as he described. “we rely on the awareness of the young people of Deir Ezzor, the generosity and determination of its people and the role to tribal elders to put an end to Iran’s expansion and threats which its project poses. Countering this threat is a collective responsibility, and the largest share of this responsibility is rests with the dignitaries whose task is manifested in raising the awareness of the member of tribes, prevailing moral values and virtues among all segments of Syrian society and cooperating with the relevant authorities in that area in order to counter this virus and help to develop a mechanism to cope with the violations committed by Iranian-backed militias,” adds Sheikh Abboud.


In an exclusive interview with SOHR, a dignitary of Al-Afadilah tribe in Al-Raqqah, Sheikh Mustafa Al-Shawwah says, “Iran’s presence in Syria started under the regime’s president Hafez Al-Assad, through establishment of hosayniyas and shrines of Shiite figures. Today, the Iranians continue entrenching their presence in Syria by promoting illicit drug trafficking and distributing illicit drug pills for free on some occasions in order to lure abusers. Iran has powerful influence in Syria today and it has become the decision maker in areas under the symbolic control of the Syrian regime.” The man has stressed that the region’s people oppose Iran’s serious expansion, calling upon human rights organisations and all authorities and powers concerned with the region’s affairs to force Iranian-backed militias to leave Syria.



In earlier reports, SOHR highlighted details about the production and trafficking of narcotics in areas dominated by Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor. Here are the links of those reports:



We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, call upon everyone affected by drug business in areas by Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor and those who have fallen victim to their practices to share and tell off their stories by sending messages to SOHR’s social media pages.