US-Backed Syrian Opposition Group Arrests 14 Drug Smugglers

A photo published by Maghaweir al-Thowra for a group of detainees who were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after crossing the Jordan border, Asharq Al-Awsat
A photo published by Maghaweir al-Thowra for a group of detainees who were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after crossing the Jordan border, Asharq Al-Awsat
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US-Backed Syrian Opposition Group Arrests 14 Drug Smugglers

A photo published by Maghaweir al-Thowra for a group of detainees who were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after crossing the Jordan border, Asharq Al-Awsat
A photo published by Maghaweir al-Thowra for a group of detainees who were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after crossing the Jordan border, Asharq Al-Awsat

Maghaweir al-Thowra (NSA), a Syrian opposition group which controls territory near the Syrian-Jordanian border and is backed by the US-led international coalition, announced arresting a 14-member ring that smuggled drugs between Syria and Jordan.

The group released a picture of those detained alongside its official statement.

It was not possible to verify whether the detainees have been charged.

“Investigations are being conducted with the people who were arrested,” said the NSA statement after revealing that the ring was ambushed on its way back from Jordan to Syrian territories.

The ring was arrested after trying to slip into Syrian regime-controlled areas through the NSA-run 55th zone.

Last Thursday, the NSA also published pictures of a resident of As-Suwayda Governorate handcuffed in front of the Al-Tanf court in the Syrian Badia.

“Investigations are ongoing with Jawdat Hamza, who was arrested in a qualitative operation, in coordination with the Anti-Terrorism Force in As-Suwayda, within the framework of joint coordination to combat ISIS and drug smuggling gangs and those involved in southern Syria,” said another NSA statement.

“Jawdat Hamza is an agent of Hezbollah in As-Suwayda, and he was handed over to the US-operated Al-Tanf base, after he was arrested by the anti-terrorism force in As-Suwayda, and he will be investigated by the NSA,” added the statement.

Local news networks in As-Suwayda said that Hamza disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the city of As-Suwayda two weeks ago, while working as a taxi driver.

The anti-terrorism force in As-Suwayda announced that he had been detained and handed over to the US base in Al-Tanf region, on charges of working for Hezbollah and securing drug smuggling operations.

Moreover, Hamza was accused of criminal cases, including kidnappings.

Hamza’s family protested handing him over to the base and demanded turning him into the hands of a competent Syrian judiciary.

No statement was issued by US forces or the international coalition concerning Hamza.



Lebanon: Israeli Strike in Tyr Kills Two Women, Injures 19

Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
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Lebanon: Israeli Strike in Tyr Kills Two Women, Injures 19

Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)

In the early hours of Friday, an Israeli strike on a building east of the port city of Tyr left two civilian women dead and more than a dozen wounded, many of them children, according to two Lebanese security sources.
Asked about the incident, the Israeli military said it was looking into it.
Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper named the victims, noting that one of the women was a paramedic of Al Risala Association for Health Care.
"Israeli media said the strike was an assassination mission", the newspaper quoted sources close to Hezbollah as saying.
The victims and the injured were civilians, added the sources, noting that rescue operations continue to pull survivors from under the rubble.
Hezbollah said in a statement earlier that it had fired volleys of Katyusha and Falaq rockets at six Israeli military locations. Its Al-Manar television reported more than 100 rockets fired at once.