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The tiny pill fueling Syria’s war and turning fighters into superhuman soldiers


Drug called Captagon is being manufactured in the Middle East. Profit obtained through the sales of this amphetamine pill is being used to fund terrorists. Moreover, the same terrorist are using this drug because it gives them strength and energy to commit further crimes against humanity.

United Nations Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Deputy Director Yury Fedotov claimed that ISIL (also known as ISIS, Islamic State or Daesh) was specifically involved with the production and distribution of the drugs. “The ISIL is trying to make its militants addicted to Captagon, because using this drug results in violent and barbaric acts,” he was quoted by Fars News as saying.

The Washington Post also fails to note that a Saudi national, prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four others were detained by security at Beirut Airport on October 26, after nearly two tons of Captagon capsules were found on their plane.

In other words the militant groups main backers, Saudi Arabia, is supplying the drug to the fighters in Syria. No doubt in the hope that it will enhance their ability on the battlefield.

A tiny, highly addictive pill produced in Syria and widely available across the Middle East, its illegal sale funnels hundreds of millions of dollars back into the war-torn country’s black-market economy each year, likely giving militias access to new arms, fighters and the ability to keep the conflict boiling.

“Syria is a tremendous problem in that it’s a collapsed security sector, because of its porous borders, because of the presence of so many criminal elements and organized networks,” the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) regional representative, Masood Karimipour, told Voice of America. “There’s a great deal of trafficking being done of all sorts of illicit goods — guns, drugs, money, people. But what is being manufactured there and who is doing the manufacturing, that’s not something we have visibility into from a distance.”

A powerful amphetamine tablet based on the original synthetic drug known as “fenethylline,” Captagon quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing Syria’s fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon.

Captagon has been around in the West since the 1960s, when it was given to people suffering from hyperactivity, narcolepsy and depression, according to the Reuters report. By the 1980s, according to Reuters, the drug’s addictive power led most countries to ban its use.

The United State classified fenethylline (“commonly known by the trademark name Captagon”) as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act in 1981, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

VOA notes that while Westerners have speculated that the drug is being used by Islamic State fighters, the biggest consumer has for years been Saudi Arabia. In 2010, a third of the world’s supply — about seven tons — ended up in Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters. VOA estimated that as many as 40,000 to 50,000 Saudis go through drug treatment each year.

Doctors report that the drug has dangerous side effects, including psychosis and brain damage, according to the BBC.

Ramzi Haddad, a Lebanese psychiatrist, told Reuters that the drug produces the typical effects of a stimulant. “You’re talkative, you don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you’re energetic,” he said.


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