www.memri.org /jttm/drug-factories-reportedly-established-hizbullah-irans-irgc-four-syrian-regime-controlled-areas

Drug Factories Reportedly Established By Hizbullah, Iran's IRGC In Four Syrian Regime-Controlled Areas

2-3 minutes 11/1/2021

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

On November 2, 2021, "On the Ground News" (OGN), run by U.S.-born jihadi reporter Bilal Abdul Kareem, who is based in Syria, posted an Arabic-language infographic on Telegram,[1] originally released by the Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies,[2] identifying six new Captagon[3] factories established by Lebanese Hizbullah and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in areas controlled by the Syrian regime.

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According to the infographic, one factory is located in the Lajat area near Daraa, and two other factories in Al-Bukamal city in Deir Al-Zour governorate, near the border with Iraq. Interestingly, on May 24, 2021, the Syrian Step News Agency, a pro-rebel news outlet, reported that the Iran-backed Shi'ite Lebanese militant group Hizbullah has begun planting cannabis near Al-Bukamal in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border.[4]

According to the newly-released infographic, one Captagon factory run by Hizbullah is located in the town of Al-Nayrab, southeast of Aleppo, and two others loacted in the town of Al-Tufail in western Al-Qalamoun, northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus.

It is worth noting that on August 22, 2021, OGN posted a video clip showing members of Azim, an umbrella group comprising several factions in the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, confiscating "more than 140k Captagon pills hidden inside olives, smuggled from areas under [Syrian] regime control."[5]

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[1] Telegram, OGN News Agency, November 2, 2021.

[2] Harmoon.org is a Doha-based independent non-profit research institute focused on Syrian political, social, and ideological studies.

[3] Captagon is one of several brand names for Fenethylline, an illegal drug containing amphetamine and theophylline.

[5] Telegram, OGN News Agency, August 22, 2021.