President Joe Biden signed into law, on 23 December 2022, the Countering Assad’s Proliferation Trafficking And Garnering Of Narcotics Act, acronym “CAPTAGON Act” (H.R. 6265).

Officially, it is aimed at disrupting the trafficking of this synthetic drug between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Unofficially, it is about finding a new pretext for the relentlessness of the United States against the Syrian Arab Republic.

Over the past two years, as Syria was assisting the United Nations to curb traffickers, a profusion of press articles came out associating Lebanese Captagon trafficking with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [1].

This drug was introduced into the Middle East by NATO in order to provide the jihadists with a sense of invincibility [2]. It is made up of an amphetamine molecule linked to a theophylline molecule by an ethyl bridge.

After losing the war it was waging through the jihadists, the United States initiated a new war - an economic one, this time - against the Syrian Arab Republic on the pretext that it was practicing torture on a massive scale (Caesar Act ). As a result, the country is besieged, thus making it impossible even for humanitarian NGOs and the United Nations to bring anything in.

Ever since Russian supplies were cut off due to Western sanctions against Moscow, Syrians have run out of fuel and electricity (except 2 for hours a day) and they are now starting to go hungry. It is therefore unthinkable that Captagon components could have entered the country. Under these conditions, it is difficult to fathom how the “regime” could possibly be manufacturing it.

The CAPTAGON law contemplates an international press campaign to associate this drug, against all logic, with President al-Assad and to promote the idea that the Syrian Arab Republic is nothing but a narco-state. On top of that, the US administration will have to produce reports on this subject. This disinformation campaign will be fueled by a budget of $858 million.

[1See: "On Syria’s Ruins, a Drug Empire Flourishes", The New York Times, as well as "How Iran turned Syria into ‘the den of Captagon", Arab News. For their part, several think tanks or NGOs have released reports such as The Syrian Economy at War Part 3 Captagon, Hashish, and the Syrian Narco-State, Center for Operational Analysis and Research (COAR Global LTD), April 2021, The Al-Assad Regime’s Captagon Trade, Carnegie endowment for International Peace, october 2022, and in particular The Captagon Threat. A Profile of Illicit Trade, Consumption, and Regional Realities, New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, april 2022.

[2How Bulgaria supplied drugs and weapons to Al-Qaïda and Daesh”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 4 January 2016.