Hezbollah owns vast areas of thousands of acres of cannabis, both in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and in the Alawite areas in Syria, and this, according to the Arab news website Almokhtsar.com, is the main reason for their exceptional loyalty to the Assad regime this days, a loyalty that so far has cost them at least 100 casualties. The most important goal for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is to keep those billion dollar assets from falling into rebel hands.
This explains why the Hezbollah is operating as an independent force in Syria, and has not joined the belligerent Syrian army which is loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. They have no intention of letting outsiders near their fields.
Drug processing labs are spread throughout Lebanon and Syria, and neither the Syrian nor the Lebanese army may set foot near those sites, according to Almokhtsar.com. Only Hezbollah fighters are guarding them.
The annual income of the Hezbollah drug distribution network is estimated at $6 billion annually. In comparison, according to the website, Iran’s annual contribution to Hezbollah are only estimated at $2 billion.
Some 1600 employees work for the distribution network, in 125 international companies. Many of them are Lebanese Palestinians, as well as Israeli Arabs.
Interestingly, some of the Hezbollah network local representatives are associated with Al Qaeda, which is an ideological enemy of Hezbollah and has been fighting against the Shiite outfit in Syria.