Border control is a growing concern in the Saudi kingdom, with war raging both in Yemen to the south and Iraq to the north. Saudi authorities are continuing to investigate a mortar attack on a the Jadida Arar post along the Iraqi border in early July. In late July, guards on the Jordanian border claimed to have confiscated almost a quarter of a million Captagon pills, as well as quantities of amphetamine.
With all eyes on the ISIS take-over of northern Iraq, civil war is escalating in Yemen. On Aug. 13, clashes between Houthi Shi'ite rebels and tribal fighters loyal to the conservative Islah party left at least 15 dead in Yemen's northern al-Jouf governorate, bordering Saudi Arabia. Both sides used heavy weaponry, including tanks that were previously captured from the army. At least 200 people were killed and more than 35,000 displaced in July when Houthis overran Amran, just 50 kilometers north of the capital Sanaa.
We may be sure that all sides in the multi-sided Yemeni conflict are turning to the hashish trade -- although with greater hypocrisy for the jihadist forces, who share the Saudi state's ultra-puritanical stance on cannabis. In northern Iraq, ISIS is said to be taking in $1 million a day in sales of black-market oil pludered from facilities they have taken. Saudi Arabia is the real prize in the region -- both for its vast oil resources and its stewardship of Mecca and Medina, revered by all the sectarian Islamist factions. The rulers of sparsely populated Saudi Arabia are clearly worried about their security forces being stretched very thin.