U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) recently sponsored legislation that calls for a United States strategy to disrupt and dismantle the illegal amphetamine trade and narcotics networks linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 
“The U.S. government must do all it can to disrupt the industrial level of drug production currently taking place in Syria,” Rep. Hill said. 
The Countering Assad’s Proliferation, Trafficking, and Garnering of Narcotics (CAPTAGON) Act, H.R. 6265, which Rep. Hill introduced on Dec. 14 with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), would require the federal government to develop and implement an interagency strategy “to deny, degrade, and dismantle Assad-linked” captagon narcotics production and trafficking networks that are considered “a transnational security threat,” according to the text of the bill.
“Since 2018, narcotic production and trafficking in Syria has turned Syria into a narco-state to fund its crimes against humanity. It is important we stop this trafficking and source of illicit finance,” said Rep. Hill.
Failing to do so, he added, would allow the Assad regime to “continue to drive the ongoing conflict, provide a lifeline to extremist groups, and permit American adversaries such as China, Russia, and Iran to strengthen their engagement there — posing an ever-larger threat to Israel and other partners in the region.”
If enacted, H.R. 6265 would require the U.S. secretaries of Defense, State, Treasury, as well as the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other appropriate federal agencies to provide the written strategy to related congressional committees, according to the bill’s text.
The strategy would be required to include diplomatic and intelligence support on how to build counternarcotics capacity to partnering countries through assistance and training to law enforcement services in eight countries, other than Syria, that are receiving or transiting large quantities of captagon. 
There must also be a strategy under the bill for leveraging multilateral institutions and cooperation with international partners “to disrupt the narcotics infrastructure of the Assad regime” and one for mobilizing a public communications campaign to increase awareness of the extent of the connection of the Assad regime to illicit narcotics trade, among other provisions listed in the bill.
H.R. 6265 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs; Intelligence (Permanent Select); Armed Services; and Judiciary committees.
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