Jordanian media denies plans for 'safe zone' on Syrian border

Jordanian media denies plans for 'safe zone' on Syrian border
A Jordanian official said rumours about a "safe zone" along the country's northern border with Syria were absolutely false.
2 min read
Jordan - Amman
07 July, 2022
Jordan has faced a huge increase in drug smuggling attempts from Syria in the past year. [Getty]

A Jordanian official has denied that Jordan is planning to create a "safe zone" along its northern border with Syria, local media reported on Thursday.

The denial comes after rumours circulated on social media platforms and among Syrian opposition circles that Jordan would create a buffer zone on its northern border.

The rumours, which started in early June, claimed that Jordan was reactivating the military coordination room it hosted prior to 2018 to liaise with the Syrian opposition in southern Syria. Others said that Jordan was trying to mobilise old members of the Free Syrian Army, a former coalition of militias fighting against the Syrian regime headed by Bashar al-Assad.

The supposed buffer zone and reactivated opposition bodies were meant to patrol the Syrian-Jordanian border and prevent the activity of Iranian-backed militias. Jordan views these militias as a threat to its security, in part because of their alleged role in drug smuggling attempts across the Syria-Jordan border.

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The Jordanian official added that the idea of a safe zone had never been put forward, and that "Jordan was not considering establishing a zone."

In May, the Jordanian King Abdullah II said in an interview that Jordan could be facing an "escalation of problems" on its borders with Syria due to Iranian activity on its borders.

He added that Jordan "knows who is behind" the drug smuggling attempts and attacks on its borders. Most analysts concluded he was talking about Iran.

Syria is a major source of Captagon, a type of amphetamine, and exports the drug to the Gulf through Jordan.

Jordan has faced an increase in drug smuggling attempts this year, leading them to adopt a "shoot to kill" policy on its border with Syria.