Jordanian army says its forces killed narcotics smuggler on the border with Syria

Attempts to infiltrate the kingdom are increasing because winter weather gives smugglers more cover

Captagon pills seized at Jordan's northern border with Syria.  Credit: Jordan Television
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Jordanian forces killed a smuggler on the border with Syria as they foiled a drug-smuggling attempt on Thursday, a military official said.

It was the third such operation this month in the area, a main corridor for the movement of narcotics from areas in southern Syria under the control of the Syrian army, to inner Arabia.

The official said an armed group tried to use poor visibility caused by weather conditions, to smuggle a "large quantity" of drugs

Rapid response units dealt with the incident, killing one of the smugglers and wounding others.

"The remaining fled to Syria," he said.

The official said 444,000 Captagon amphetamine pills and 1,439 pouches of hashish were seized.

Smuggling attempts increase in winter when the weather provides better cover for illegal activities.

Jordanian officials say that smugglers are linked to the Syrian military and pro-Iran militias in southern Syria.

On Wednesday, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told Iran that the kingdom will "take all necessary steps" to protect its national security.

Mr Safadi was talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian a day after infiltrators smuggling drugs from Syria killed a Jordanian border guard, according to the army.

"Those responsible for the attack on Jordan's security … will not escape punishment and will pay for their aggression and crime," Mr Safadi told Mr Amirabdollahian, according to official media.

The Jordanian border with Syria has become the main conduit for the illegal trade since Syrian government forces regained the area from rebels in 2018, after a deal between Russia, the US and Israel.

Captagon and other drugs are made mainly in Syria and Lebanon.

Updated: December 15, 2023, 4:44 AM