Wassim al-Assad & Noah Zuaiter
On November 15, the Syrian regime’s security authorities arrested Rami Al-Khatib, captain of the cycling team in Tartous, after he recorded and published a video on November 13 accusing Wassim Badi’ Al-Assad, Bashar Al-Assad’s cousin, of acquiring a coffee shop in Tartous through bullying and pretentiousness.
Wassim al-Assad appeared on November 14th recording a response to al-Khatib, in which he denied his ownership of the Zaytouna cafe, in front of which al-Khatib filmed the recording, and claimed that the speaker intentionally used the word “al-Assad” repeatedly in order to “play on a sensitive chord.”
It is widely believed that Wassim al-Assad is one of the most prominent drug traffickers in Syria and the Middle East, and that he stands behind many of the major drug shipments that have been stopped by neighbouring countries in recent years. Wassim has previously published photos of Noah Zuaiter, the leading drug dealer in Lebanon and an ally of Hezbollah.