One of Syria’s most well-known drug dealers was killed in airstrikes over southern Syria early on Monday, according to a pro-government radio station and an opposition war monitor.
The attacks take place a day after Arab governments welcomed Syria back into the Arab League after suspending it due to its repressive anti-protest policies. One of the main subjects of discussion as Arab governments gradually restore relations with Damascus has been Syria’s thriving illicit drug market, particularly the illegal amphetamine cartel.
Governments in the West estimate that captagon has brought in billions of dollars for President Bashar Assad, his associates, and allies in Syria. The charges have been refuted by Damascus.
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the first strike killed Merhi Ramthan, his wife, and six children at a residence in the Syrian village of Shuab in the Sweida province close to the Jordanian border.
Another strike that hit a building in the southern province of Daraa, according to the opposition war monitor and Sham FM. The Observatory claimed the structure housed a drug manufacturing facility.
No additional information was provided by the pro-government radio station. Jordanian or Syrian authorities were silent at the time of writing.
The captagon producer is among the most wanted men by Jordanian authorities for facilitating drug smuggling across the border with the support of a small militia, according to activists and the war monitor, who believe Jordan is likely responsible for the airstrike.
The six include prominent Lebanese drug lords and the president of Syria’s cousins. Several weeks later, the European Union imposed sanctions on a number of Syrians, including members of the Assad family, holding them accountable for the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, particularly captagon.