Jordan Foils Major Drug Smuggling Attempt from Syria

A Jordanian army patrol is deployed at the border with Syria to prevent drug smuggling, April 2023. (AFP)
A Jordanian army patrol is deployed at the border with Syria to prevent drug smuggling, April 2023. (AFP)
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Jordan Foils Major Drug Smuggling Attempt from Syria

A Jordanian army patrol is deployed at the border with Syria to prevent drug smuggling, April 2023. (AFP)
A Jordanian army patrol is deployed at the border with Syria to prevent drug smuggling, April 2023. (AFP)

The Jordanian army announced on Friday that it thwarted a major drug smuggling operation from Syria.

In a statement, it said two smugglers were killed and others wounded in the operation. Some smugglers managed to flee back to Syria.

The army seized the drugs and weapons in possession of the smugglers.

Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the Jordanian authorities will release some of the confessions of Syrian smugglers it had detained in late 2023.

They were arrested during a clash that led to the arrest of nine smugglers along the northeastern border.

Jordanian sources had previously told Asharq Al-Awsat that smuggling gangs active in southern Syria were cooperating with Jordanian cells to deliver illicit material to the eastern Ruwaished region before smuggling them to neighboring countries.

Authorities soon carried out an operation against the cell, arresting some members and killing others. The search is still ongoing for some fugitive members.

Amman accuses Iran and its allied militias, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah which is active in southern Syria, of being behind the drugs smuggling.

It says the operations aim to cause tensions and security instability in Jordan.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in New York in mid-April where they were attending a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

Safadi informed Abdollahian that “Jordan won’t allow Iran or Israel to turn it into a warzone.” Jordan will “confront any violation of its territories and threat to its security and safety of its citizens,” he vowed.

“Jordan wants good relations with Iran, but getting there demands the removal of the sources of tension and the immediate end of meddling in Jordanian affairs,” he stressed.

Damascus did not comment on the latest drug smuggling attempt, but local media sources said the operation had taken place in the desert area between Syria and Jordan.

It added that a person in connection to the government-affiliated Fifth Brigade was involved in the smuggling attempt.



More than a 100 Killed in Gaza in 24 Hours

Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
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More than a 100 Killed in Gaza in 24 Hours

Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Smoke from Israeli bombardment billows in the background near an area previously housing displaced Palestinians leaving Rafah towards Khan Younis on June 20, 2024, in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)

 At least 42 people were killed in Israeli attacks on districts of Gaza City in the north of the Palestinian enclave on Saturday, the director of the Hamas-run government media office said.
One Israeli strike on houses in Al-Shati, one of the Gaza Strip's eight historic refugee camps, killed 24 people, Ismail Al-Thawabta told Reuters. Another 18 Palestinians were killed in a strike on houses in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood.

The offensive has left Gaza in ruins, killed more than 37,400 people, of whom 101 were killed in the past 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities, and left nearly the entire population homeless and destitute.

The Israeli military released a brief statement saying: "A short while ago, army fighter jets struck two Hamas military infrastructure sites in the area of Gaza City."
It said more details would be released soon.
Hamas did not comment on the Israeli claim to have hit its military infrastructure. It said in a statement the attacks targeted the civilian population and vowed in a statement "the occupation and its Nazi leaders will pay the price for their violations against our people."
Footage obtained by Reuters showed dozens of Palestinians rushing out to search for victims amid the destroyed houses. The footage showed wrecked homes, blasted walls, and debris and dust filling the street in Shati refugee camp.

More than eight months into the war, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to seize: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the centre.
Residents said Israeli tanks deepened their incursion into western and northern Rafah areas in recent days. On Saturday Israeli forces bombed several areas from air and the ground, forcing many families living in areas described as humanitarian-designated zones to leave northwards.
The Israeli military said forces continued "precise, intelligence-based" targeted operations in Rafah, killing many Palestinian gunmen and dismantling military infrastructure.
On Friday, the Gaza health ministry said at least 25 Palestinians were killed in Mawasi in western Rafah and 50 wounded. Palestinians said a tank shell hit a tent housing displaced families.