Wassim Qattan is a Damascene businessman who emerged among Syria’s business elite only a few years ago and is believed to be acting as a front for powerful regime personalities. Unknown prior to 2017, Mr Qattan has acquired several high-profile contracts from state institutions in the real estate and hospitality sectors. With little information on his source of wealth, he is widely believed to be acting as a front for wealthy and powerful regime personalities, even if the identity of his sponsor remains unclear.
Fares Shehabi (b. 1972), also known as Fares Ahmad Al-Shehabi, is a prominent Aleppan businessman who is mainly active in the pharmaceutical sector. Throughout the decade-long conflict, Mr Shehabi has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the regime.
A recent 55-page report provides a comprehensive overview of the captagon drug trade in Syria, its evolution since the early 2000s, methods of production, implicated state and non-state actors, and market trends.
The government has issued measures prioritising food staples and commodities as the Ukrainian-Russian conflict continues to disrupt global supply chains. Meanwhile, the de-facto governments and authorities in Northern and Northeast Syria have not issued any mitigating measures despite surging food prices and supply shortages.
For the first time since the start of the Syrian conflict, Emirati Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Damascus to discuss boosting bilateral ties and economic relations with President Bashar Al-Assad.
The European Union Council recently imposed sanctions on four recently-appointed Syrian ministers. Meanwhile, the EU General Court rejected a prominent Syrian businessman’s appeal to be removed from the sanctions list.