Jordan Says It Foiled Plot against Its Security by Gunmen from Syria

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 1, 2021 shows Jordanian troops guarding the closed Jaber/Nassib border post on Jordan's border with Syria. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on August 1, 2021 shows Jordanian troops guarding the closed Jaber/Nassib border post on Jordan's border with Syria. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)
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Jordan Says It Foiled Plot against Its Security by Gunmen from Syria

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 1, 2021 shows Jordanian troops guarding the closed Jaber/Nassib border post on Jordan's border with Syria. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on August 1, 2021 shows Jordanian troops guarding the closed Jaber/Nassib border post on Jordan's border with Syria. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)

The Jordanian army said on Monday dozens of infiltrators from Syria crossed its border with rocket launchers, anti-personnel mines and explosives in what it said was a foiled plot against the kingdom's security.

State broadcaster al Mamlaka said the army blew up a vehicle laden with explosives in the biggest armed cross-border operation to smuggle weapons and drugs in recent years.  

Earlier, the army on Monday said it had seized weapons and drugs after clashes with armed drug dealers along the Syrian border at dawn, and officials said the gunmen were linked to pro-Iranian militias seeking to undermine the country's security.  

The army said the infiltrators had fled back across the border after injuring several army personnel. The weapons seized included automatic rifles and rockets, it added in a statement.  

Jordanian officials say that Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group and militias who control much of southern Syria are behind the surge in drug and weapons smuggling.  

Hezbollah denies the accusations. Iran says the allegations are part of Western plots against the country.

"The last few days have seen a spike in these operations that are changing from infiltration attempts and smuggling to armed clashes with the goal of crossing the border by force and targeting border guards," the army said in a statement.  

The army said it would "continue to track these armed groups and prevent any attempt to undermine the kingdom's national security".  

UN experts and US officials say the illicit drug trade finances a proliferation of pro-Iranian militias and pro-government paramilitary forces created by more than a decade of conflict in Syria.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.