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Jordan downs drone carrying drugs from Syria in 9th incident this year

The incident is the ninth this year as Jordan battles increasing drug smuggling attempts from neighboring Syria.
A picture taken during a tour origanized by the Jordanian Army shows a drone flying over an observation post along the border with Syria, on February 17, 2022. - Drug trafficking from Syria into Jordan is becoming "organised" with smugglers stepping up operations and using sophisticated equipment including drones, Jordan's army said, warning of a shoot-to-kill policy. Since the beginning of this year, Jordan's army has killed 30 smugglers and foiled attempts to smuggle into the kingdom from Syria 16 million

BEIRUT — The Jordanian army said in a statement on Monday that it downed a drone carrying crystal meth from Syria in the latest incident of narcotics smuggling along the country’s northern border.

A military source quoted in the statement said Jordanian border guards and the government's narcotics department intercepted the drone after it entered Jordanian territory illegally.

“The Jordanian armed forces continue to deal with force and commitment with any threat on the border and any attempts to destabilize the country and terrorize its citizens,” the source said.

Monday’s incident brings the total number of drones downed over Jordanian territory to nine, according to media reports. Jordanian authorities intercepted three drones last month, according to the military.

Jordan has seen hundreds of attempts to smuggle narcotics across its 375-kilometer (233-mile) desert border with Syria, where a multi-million-dollar drug business has flourished in light of the civil war and ensuing security chaos. The kingdom became a main transit route to the Gulf countries. Jordanian authorities have accused members of the Syrian regime and its allied Iranian militias of involvement in smuggling operations across the border.

Last Thursday, Jordanian airstrikes reportedly hit a drug manufacturing factory in Syria’s southern province of Suwayda, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Opposition activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh told the Associated Press that the factory in the village of Um Rumman near the Jordanian border was also used as a warehouse where smugglers would store and package illegal drugs to be smuggled across the border to Jordan.

In May, a prominent Syrian regional drug lord was killed in a suspected Jordanian airstrike that targeted his house in the eastern countryside of Suwayda.

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