Dienstag, 28.03.2023 / 16:58 Uhr

Neue US-Sanktionen zielen auf syrischen Captagon Handel

Drogen sind längst zu einer Haupteinnahmequelle des Assad-Regimes geworden. Nun versuchen die USA den Handel mit neuen Sanktionen zu bekämpfen:

The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled new sanctions aimed at curbing Syria’s production and export of Captagon, an illegal amphetamine that serves as a key source of revenue for the Syrian regime.

The sanctions are the administration’s first to target Syria’s Captagon trade and also its first use of so-called Caesar Act, a law that allows for sanctions on persons or companies that do business with the Syrian government.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed the United States would continue targeting Syria's drug traffickers and “those who provide support to the Syrian regime’s vicious war.” (...)

Among those designated by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control was Khalid Qaddour, a Syrian businessman who is a close associate of Maher al-Assad, a brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who heads the Fourth Division of the Syrian Arab Army. According to OFAC, Qaddour is responsible for managing the Fourth Division's revenues from facilitating the production and trafficking of Captagon.

Also designated was Samer Kamal al-Assad, a cousin of the Syrian president who allegedly oversees Captagon facilities in the regime-controlled port city of Latakia in coordination with the Fourth Division and certain associates of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Assad reportedly owns a Captagon production factory in the Qalamoun region near the Syria-Lebanon border.

The Treasury Department blacklisted Wassim Badi al-Assad, another of Assad’s cousins who it accused of helping smuggle contraband, Captagon and other drugs throughout the region with the Syrian regime’s tacit support. Imad Abu Zureik, a militia leader linked to drug production and smuggling in southern Syria, was also designated.

OFAC Director Andrea Gacki described Syria as a global leader in the production of Captagon, much of which is moved through Lebanon. 

“With our allies, we will hold accountable those who support Bashar al-Assad’s regime with illicit drug revenue and other financial means that enable the regime’s continued repression of the Syrian people,” Gacki said in a statement.