Jordan airstrikes targeting drug smugglers in Syria kill 5

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Five dead in Jordan’s Syria strikes on drug smugglers, including a woman and two children.

BEIRUT, Dec 19: On Tuesday, air strikes conducted by Jordanian forces in Syria targeted drug smugglers, resulting in the tragic deaths of five individuals, including a woman and two children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in the UK. The strikes were focused on a farm in Sweida, a border province, where drug traffickers were believed to operate. The Observatory, relying on sources within Syria, highlighted that the strikes aimed at areas along the Jordan-Syria border known for smuggling operations.

A separate strike on another farm, reportedly owned by Faisal Al Saadi, a trafficker associated with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and the Syrian government’s security department, claimed the life of a fifth person. The Jordanian military had earlier reported clashes between Jordanian border guards and “drug traffickers” at the northern frontier with Syria since Monday, resulting in injuries and fatalities among the traffickers.

The statement from the Jordanian army mentioned that several traffickers were either killed or wounded during the clashes, with authorities arresting multiple traffickers, including nine Syrian citizens. Substantial amounts of drugs and weapons were seized during the operations. The clashes also resulted in injuries to several Jordanian border guards.

Jordan has intensified border controls in recent years, periodically announcing the prevention of drug and weapons smuggling attempts from Syria. Captagon, an amphetamine-like stimulant, is a prominent drug smuggled across the border, meeting high demand in the Gulf region.

In July, Jordan took steps to combat drug smuggling by initiating a forum, with its first meeting held in Amman. Talks between Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad underscored the regional concerns over the surge in captagon influx. The increasing regional engagement with Al Assad’s government followed its readmission to the Arab League in May, marking the end of over a decade of isolation since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

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