Raids, reinforcements near Syrian-Jordanian border in search for drugs

DARAA, Syria (North Press) On Monday, military groups belonging to the Eighth Brigade, affiliated with the military intelligence of Syrian government forces, raided a number of towns in the eastern countryside of Daraa, in search for people involved in the drug trade.

Local sources told North Press that the Eighth Brigade raided a number of houses in the town of Umm al-Mayathin, in the eastern countryside of Daraa, in search of people engaged in drug trafficking.

The sources added that the brigade arrested 10 suspects, while a number of people escaped to other areas of Daraa, including Ismail al-Qaddah, the leader of a drug ring, who is accused of drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, groups of the Eighth Brigade confiscated narcotics they found in one of the raided houses in the town.

The sources pointed out that the Eighth Brigade has reached the outskirts of the town of Nassib in the eastern countryside of Daraa, where they set up military checkpoints.

The same sources noted that the pursuit of members of the groups of Ismail al-Qaddah and Fayez al-Radi, drug dealing groups, continues.

The Eighth Brigade brought reinforcements to the town of Nassib on the Jordanian border, with the intention of conducting a major assault, for fear of resistance from the wanted persons.

A source close to the Eighth Brigade told North Press that the Brigade’s command “issued orders to attack drug dealing groups.”

In 2018, the Eighth Brigade, which is backed by Russia, was established out of the remnants of the Shabab al-Sunna faction headed by Ahmad al-Awda of the Syrian opposition during its control of southern Syria.

On Sunday, clashes erupted between the Eighth Brigade and the Fayez al-Radi group, which is accused of dealing drugs in the region. As a result, Muhammad al-Hariri, affiliated with  Fayez al-Radi group, was killed.

Over the past years, this region has witnessed continuous smuggling of narcotics into Jordanian territory, as the Jordanian army periodically announces the seizure of quantities of captagon pills and other drugs.

Several international reports, headed by the US Treasury, accuse the Syrian government and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia of running large drug trafficking networks in this border area, as well as other Syrian regions.

Reporting by Ihsan Muhammad