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Syria Insight: Captagon drug trade sees tense stand-off with Jordan

Caroline Rose

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Working group talks between Syrian, Jordanian, and Iraqi officials took place in the summer on the drugs trade but no real results or follow-up meetings materialised, said Caroline Rose, director of the Captagon Project at the New Lines Institute and adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

 “I think it’s clear that we saw the Jordanian government slow down and pump the brakes on normalisation this past summer, so it seems they are becoming more frustrated with the lack of progress on this issue,” said Rose.

“It is also notable that Jordan is blaming Iran-backed organisations, operating in Syria’s southern provinces, for the smuggling of captagon and with the weapons seized by Jordan this is a sign the militias are operating in that capacity. Combined with the illicit flows of captagon, then this is a message from Iran that they are present and looking to expand their influence in the region.”