on Sunday 18 February, 2024

Jordan says its forces killed five drug smugglers on Syria border

Jordanian soldiers patrol the border with Syria. AP
by : Yemen Details

The Jordanian army said on Sunday that its border guards had killed five drug traffickers and wounded four others attempting to smuggle narcotics into Jordan from Syria.

“The eastern military zone, in coordination with military security agencies and the drug control administration, foiled at dawn on Sunday ... an attempt to infiltrate and smuggle large quantities of drugs coming from Syrian territories,” said a statement quoting an official from the General Command of the Armed Forces.

“The operation resulted in the killing of five smugglers, the injury of four others and the seizure of large quantities of drugs,” it added.

The operation took place a day after the interior ministers of Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon met in Amman and agreed to establish a “joint communication cell” to combat cross-border drug smuggling.

Jordanian Interior Minister Mazen al-Faraya said the body would allow the exchange of “experiences, training, capabilities and monitoring ... information and tracking shipments leaving the countries to their final destination.”

Jordanian security forces have tightened border controls in recent years and occasionally announce thwarted drugs and weapons smuggling attempts from Syria.

One of the main drugs smuggled is the amphetamine-like stimulant captagon.

Jordan has said it has shot down drug-laden drones, and that the trafficking operations are protected by armed groups.

In July, a newly-established forum to combat drug smuggling from war-ravaged Syria held its first meeting in Amman.

It was agreed during talks between Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, amid regional concerns over an influx of captagon.

There has been increasing regional engagement with al-Assad’s government since its readmission to the Arab League in May, ending more than a decade of isolation since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

-With AFP