SNA hits drug smuggling in advance of N Syria battle

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The Syrian National Army expanded its campaign against narcotics Thursday with the apprehension and arrest in northwestern Syria of at least one hundred drug dealers and their clients. The SNA’s anti-drug campaign comes as Northern Syria returns to the headlines. Turkish-backed SNA troops are preparing for a major offensive against the mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces. At the same time, Ankara readies to create its long-promised “security zone” along the border. The chief of SNA’s military police told A24 in Azzaz that his forces are determined to stop the spread of drug abuse, including Methamphetamines. He pledged to open drug rehabilitation centers soon for the impoverished war-scarred young people in the region. The SNA accuses the SDF and the Syrian government of profiting from the drug trade. Last week German prosecutors announced its investigators found the Assad clan at the center of a several billion dollars a year drug smuggling scheme. According to the online news platform Grid, seizures of the Syrian regime captagon shipments totaled around $3.4 billion in 2020 compared to around $122 million for olive oil –the country’s largest legal export. Siraj al-Din, SNA Third Corps spokesman, said most illegal drugs arrive through regime-controlled areas. His forces often meet with armed resistance from drug dealers.

 

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