Drone carrying drugs from Syria into Jordan. September 2023

Jordanian Warplanes Strike Iran-Backed Drug Smugglers In Syria

Friday, 01/05/2024

Jordan stepped up its campaign against Iran-linked drug and weapons smuggling networks in Syria by launching air strikes at their warehouses and hideouts.

For months, Syria’s southern neighbor has been warning criminal groups that smuggle large quantities of drugs across it borders destined for other countries in the region.

The infiltrators have increasingly become more brazen by engaging the Jordanian military and using drones carrying drugs across the border.

Sources told Reuters that jets bombed the suspected home of a leading drug dealer in the town of Shaab in Sweida province while the other strike hit warehouses near the village of Al-Ghariya.Both locations are in the province of Sweida near the Jordanian border.

Jordanian officials, like their Western allies, say that Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group and other pro-Iranian militias who control much of southern Syria were behind a surge in drug and weapons smuggling.

UN experts and US and European 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.

Iran and Hezbollah say the allegations are part of Western plots against the country. Syria denies complicity with Iranian-backed militias linked to its army and security forces.

Jordan has been promised more US military aid to improve security on the border, where Washington has given around $1 billion to establish border posts since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, Jordanian officials say.

With reporting by Reuters

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