Smuggling to Daesh strongholds are run by smuggler networks mostly in the South of Syria and specially in Daraa and Suweida Provinces. The smuggling concerns arms, ammunitions, fuels, all kind of hashs and extasies….
Suweida 24 has worked for several months to discover one of the largest and most dangerous networks in the South of Syria, and who has dozens of vehicles ot transport daily all kinds of arms, different amunitions, shells, landmines and missiles.
They enter daily:
- the villages of “Jaddel” and “Shayeh” which is controlled by the smugglers and leave toward the villages controlled by the militias and the regime army to the west of Sweida Province “Dama”, “Harran”, “Labbin”,
- then move toward “Urayqat” disctrict driving through the village of “Tamr Baqra”, “Majadil”,
- then “Um Zaytun” until they enter the town of “Shahba”.
- After the town of “Shahba”, they drive toward the east on the road of the village of “Namra” then to “Um Dabib”
- Enter the village of “Tarba” nearby to Sweida Badiya.
During this trip they have crossed 4 regime army barriers and militias forces before reaching the areas controlled by Daesh. Suweida 24 mentions that this is not indeed the only smuggling road but it is known to be one the most important one that is used by the smugglers.
The colours :
- Yellow : regime army.
- Green : FSA
- Blue : areas controlled by the smugglers
- Black : areas controlled by Daesh.
- Blue line : road taken by the smugglers.
- Red circles : the smugglers’ villages.
- Green barrier: regime army barriers.
The Badiya controlled by Daesh
The smugglers’ rings
Most of those networks start from Lajat in Daraa rif through the Bedoins smugglers who are mostly from the villages of the villages of alAsfar, alQasr in Sweida NE countrysides. They left to Lajat after Daesh took over their villages at the end of 2014 when they established contacts with one of the smuggler inside Daesh area in the Badiya to agree on prices, requested quantities, then they buy the amunitions and arms from mostly towns and villages controlled by the opposition armed forces.
Once those items have been bought, they are transported to the village of “Jaddel” which is nearby the villages at the west of Sweida Province.
Those items enter the western countryside of Sweida thans to the complicity of several smugglers among them NDF militias from the village of Labbin, Haran and Dama. They receive the vehicle tranporting the items on a agricultural road between Jaddel and the villages where they live. Their main tasks is to protect the items until they reach Sweida Badiya. and they are paid 1 millions sp to protect smuggling items. These networks of smugglers are labled ” the protectors of the goods”.
They transport the goods either from Labbin or Harran or Dama to the village of “Urayqat” where they are handed over to other smugglers among them individuals who hold “security cards” who receive 100000 sp to deliver the goods to the town of Shahba.
In Shahab, another ring of smugglers carries on the task to deliver the goods to the village of Tarba in the eastern side of the province against 200 000 sp, where individuals with security ID transport them to almost 5 kms to deliver it to one of the smugglers in Sweida Badiya controlled by the Daesh.
After that step until it reaches alLajat, the price of the goods’ can reach 15 millions sp that (…). But the smuggler in the Badiya can only sell the goods to a merchant chosen by Daesh with a threashhold benefit. The merchant is in charge to transport them to alBukamal and to Raqqa.
Fighting the smugglers
There are several events that happened in both Daraa and Sweida to combat them, but the smugglers remain powerful on the ground.
There are several court decisions on 2/04/2016, 10/4/2016 and 11/04/2016 concerning those smuggling operations.
On 29/04/2014, local armed groups in Dama arrested a vehicle loaded with tank shells driven by a smuggler ( ي.أ ) from the village of Jirin which is situated nearby Dama, but was released by the intelligence branch after the smugglers’ relatives encircled the building in Sweida, with the vehicle and its content.
The regime is accomplice
Despite the regime attempts to fight the smugglers and publish their pictures with the capture goods, Sweida Province locals remain skeptical as they believe that the regime security branches are accomplice of this business and smuggle arms to Daesh through the province at Ain alShams. On Friday 27/05/2016, a group of locals in the village of alAfina to the south of the Province, arrested NDF fficers (R.S) with anotherNDF member from the village of with 800 kgs of TNT that Daesh uses to manufacture landmines, in addition to ammunitions for a machineguns 14.5 and mortars, who have been attempting to transport them to the Badiya. Locals handed them over to the NDF headquarter in Sweida where they were released by the Central commander “Rashid Sallum. .