A new front has opened in the civil war in Syria. Smugglers linked to the ruling regime entered into a direct armed confrontation with the neighboring Jordanian army. Maher Assad, the younger brother of Syrian President Bashar Assad, may be behind it, leading a criminal group that manufactures and sells the banned drug Captagon.
Syria supplies 80% of the world’s production of the drug, exporting it as live sheep and tea leaves. That brings the Assad regime three times more money than the Mexican drug cartels combined. Revenues from the Captagon helped the Syrian leader buy the loyalty of officials and generals and purchase weapons.
Captago began to host fighters from various paramilitary groups that appeared in abundance in the region in the 1990s and early 2000s. The price ranged from 3 to 25 dollars for a quality pill that could relieve fatigue and fear for several hours, help focus attention, and turn off the emotions that interfere so much in battle.
In London, the value of the Syrian government’s drug addiction is estimated at 57 billion dollars. It is called one of the most valuable assets of the Assad family and its inner circle. There are no specific figures for the income of the Syrian elite from the sale of pills, but we are talking about billions of dollars a year. At least $10 billion worth of captagon is sold worldwide every year.