The CAPTAGON Act in Syria: Implications and Effects
Jul 05, 2023 1720

The CAPTAGON Act in Syria: Implications and Effects

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The National Defence Authorisation Act that President Joe Biden signed into law just before Christmas in 2022 includes a mandate requiring US agencies to target the Captagon drug trade in the Middle East and consequently in Syria.   

The implementation of the Captagon Act has come into effect, 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress, and after it was signed by President Joe Biden on December 23, 2022 into law.   

The law's implementation will be carried out through a written plan submitted to specialized committees in Congress by the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees a written strategy to disrupt and dismantle narcotics production and trafficking and affiliated networks linked to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.   

According to the law, the plan includes a strategy to target, disrupt, and weaken the network supporting drug manufacturing and the Syrian regime's trafficking operations. It also involves providing support to countries receiving significant shipments of Captagon or classified as transit points. Additionally, the plan outlines a strategy for cooperation with international partners to disrupt drug networks affiliated with the regime and organize a public awareness campaign to highlight the extent of the regime's involvement in the drug trade. It also includes providing all relevant information regarding the use of legal authorities, including the Caesar Act to protect civilians, as well as utilizing international diplomatic relations associated with the economic pressure campaign against the regime.   

This report aims to assess the implications of the law's approval and implementation, as well as its actual impact, particularly on the political and security fronts. It will identify the obstacles and challenges expected to be encountered during its application by the relevant agencies, directorates, and departments affiliated with the United States.