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Jordan strikes Iran-linked drugs smugglers in southern Syria

Jordan strikes Iran-linked drugs smugglers in southern Syria
2 min read
18 December, 2023
After foiling a plot by pro-Iran and pro-Assad militias to smuggle drugs, Jordan has launched air strikes on Syria.
Jordan has beefed up its military presence at its border with Syria in an effort to stop captagon smuggling [Getty]

Jordan on Monday launched several aerial raids into its northern neighbour Syria against hideouts of Iranian-backed drug smugglers in retaliation against a large-scale smuggling operation, regional intelligence sources said.

The army said it foiled a plot on Monday by dozens of infiltrators from Syria linked to pro-Iranian militias, who crossed its border with rocket launchers, anti-personnel mines and explosives.

Two regional intelligence and a Western diplomatic source who track the situation in southern Syria confirmed that Jordanian war planes had hit the drug-related targets in rare raids inside Syria since the over a decade-old conflict began.

They said the jets bombed the suspected home of a leading drug dealer in the town of Salkhad in Sweida province while other strikes hit hideouts in the Deraa province.

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The two provinces are in southern Syria along the Jordanian-Syrian border.

Ryan Marouf, editor of the local Suwayda 24 news website, said it was not clear if there were any casualties from the raids that hit hideouts of leading drug dealers and several farms.

War-torn Syria has become the region's main site for a multi-billion-dollar drug trade, with Jordan being a key transit route to the oil-rich Gulf states for a Syrian-made amphetamine known as captagon, Western anti-narcotics officials and Washington say.

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime denies involvement in drug-making and smuggling. Iran says the allegations it was behind the drug trade are part of Western plots against the country.