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British Summer Time, BST | May 22, 2023 | 14:00 - 15:15

Syria - Turkey | May 22, 2023 | 16:00 - 17:15

Eastern Time, ET | May 22, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:15

Berlin, Germany | May 22, 2023 | 15:00 - 16:15

Chatham House

The Narcotics Crisis in the Middle East

In the past few years, various countries in the Middle East witnessed a spike in the supply of narcotics. Over 2020-22 alone, a whopping one billion pills of the amphetamine-based drug captagon have been seized. A research project led by the Observatory of Political and Economic Networks has compiled critical data offering insights into the narcotics crisis in the Middle East and the role of the Assad regime in Syria and, to a lesser extent, Lebanon, for its perpetuation.

The project documents the types, quantities, countries of origin, and points of interdiction of narcotics seizures in or related to the Middle East from 2016 to 2022, as well as the key persons and entities involved in producing, smuggling, and facilitating the narcotics trade in Syria.

At this hybrid event, researchers and experts will present and discuss the findings of this study and the dynamics of narcotics supply in the region, the networks sustaining them, and the steps necessary to address the ensuing crisis.



Dr Karam Shaar, Political Economist; Co-founder, Observatory of Political and Economic Networks and Non-resident Senior Fellow, Newlines Institute

Ibrahim Olabi, Lawyer, Guernica 37; Founder, Syrian Legal Development Program

Caroline Rose, Director, Strategic Blind Spots Portfolio, Newlines Institute

Moderator: Dr Lina Khatib, Director, SOAS Middle East Institute

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