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The Syrian Emergency Task Force Welcomes the New CAPTAGON Law to Dismantle Assad’s Narco-state

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Syrian Emergency Task Force is thrilled to announce that the bipartisan Countering Assad’s Proliferation Trafficking and Garnering of Narcotics (CAPTAGON) Act, included  as an amendment within the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was signed into law today by President Joe Biden to disrupt and dismantle Bashar Al-Assad’s narcotics production and trafficking.

The CAPTAGON Law requires the U.S. government to develop an interagency strategy to “deny, degrade, and dismantle Assad-linked narcotics production and trafficking networks.” The strategy will identify and target networks that directly and indirectly support the Assad narcotics infrastructure,  build counter-narcotics capacity with partner countries, identify countries receiving or transiting large quantities of Captagon and assess their counter-narcotics strategy, and establish a public awareness campaign. 

“We are proud and grateful to see the CAPTAGON Act be signed into law as part of the NDAA. The Assad regime has become a narco-state in order to continue to fund and fuel its machinery of death in Syria. This law will build on the important work of the Caesar Act to suffocate the Assad regime, and hold it accountable for the countless lives it has destroyed in Syria and beyond,” said Mouaz Moustafa, the Executive Director of SETF.

Captagon is an illegal and addictive amphetamine popular in many Arab countries, with effects not unlike those of similar drugs popular in the U.S. Over the past decade, Captagon manufacturing and commerce linked to the Syrian regime have proliferated in Syria and grown into a multibillion-dollar operation. The Assad regime has relied on illicit drug trafficking to bypass sanctions imposed through the 2019 Caesar Act to fund its systematic human rights violations. 

SETF looks forward to the enforcement of the CAPTAGON Law in order to dismantle all networks supporting Assad’s multibillion-dollar narcotics operation and cut off the regime’s financial lifeline allowing it to commit more atrocities.

For press inquiries please contact:
Veronica Zanetta Brandoni
Director of Advocacy
[email protected]