Biden signs off on defence spending budget that included targeting of Syria captagon trade
US President Joe Biden signed a massive defence spending bill into law on Friday that includes a proposal to combat the Syrian regime's trade of captagon.
Biden approved military spending of nearly $858 billion for the upcoming year - roughly 10 percent more than the year before, as lawmakers look to account for inflation and boost the nation’s military competitiveness with China and Russia.
Included in the wide-ranging bill was a proposal to target the alleged production and export of captagon, an amphetamine, by the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad.
The H.R. 6265 Captagon Act, as the bill is officially known, included a requirement for the US government to formulate a strategy to target the Assad regime's use of the trade, which analysts say has provided it with millions of dollars in funding.
The bill requires US agencies to develop a strategy to disrupt and dismantle the production and trafficking of the drug.
It also asks that the US support its allies in the region dealing with the smuggling of captagon into their territories.
The bill was proposed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in July and approved by the House of Representatives in September.
The Senate passed the defence policy bill earlier this month by a vote of 83-11, with broad bipartisan support.
The production of captagon, an amphetamine stimulant, increased significantly in Syria during the conflict in the country, which began in 2011 when the Assad regime violently suppressed protests against its rule.
Authorities in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan and beyond have become increasingly frustrated with the captagon trade, even though intricate networks have been uncovered and tens of millions of pills confiscated in recent years.
Agencies contributed to this report