Reuters reveals Saudi Arabia compensates Assad for drug trade loss

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – As Arab states agreed to end years of pariah against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, returning him to the Arab family, a compensation for the loss of drug trade has been paid, a report publicized by Reuters revealed on Tuesday.

The report said, based on information by a regional source close to Damascus, Saudi Arabia “offered $4 billion – based on what Riyadh estimates the trade to be worth.”

Captagon has long been a lucrative part of Syria’s war economy, estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year.

It added that the “proposal” was concluded during a visit by Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan to Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received on April 18 bin Farhan at the People’s Palace, and they discussed the bilateral ties between the two countries and other political international and regional files.

Yesterday on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia said it resumed the work of its diplomatic mission in Syria after more than a decade of suspension in the wake of the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

Reuters noted that the regional source disclosed that the funds “would be defined as agricultural aid.”

A Syrian source close to the Gulf with knowledge of contacts confirmed that Saudi Arabia had proposed a sum that would be paid as humanitarian aid, but could not say how much, according to Reuters.

On May 7, Arab foreign ministers of the Arab League agreed on Syria’s official return to its seat in the Arab League that has been suspended since 2011 in the wake of al-Assad brutality against his own people.

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

On May 8 at dawn, Jordanian flights targeted a building used for storing drugs in the vicinity of the village of Kharab al-Shahem in the western countryside of Daraa, south Syria, as the same flight targeted a house of the prominent drug dealer Marei Ramthan in Suwayda countryside, killing him along with his family.

Reporting by Saya Muhammad