Jordan–Syria border | Night clashes erupt between Jordanian army and drug traffickers, south Al-Suwaydaa countryside • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Jordan–Syria border | Night clashes erupt between Jordanian army and drug traffickers, south Al-Suwaydaa countryside

Syrian Observatory sources have reported that clashes erupted at midnight on Tuesday between Jordanian border guards and some smugglers as they attempted to smuggle narcotics from the southern countryside of Al-Suwaydaa near the villages of Khirbet Awad and Al-Mughayir.

According to local sources in that area, these clashes occurred despite warnings by the Jordanian government to change their policy and the rules of engagement on the border areas to counter infiltration and smuggling attempts, after a Jordanian officers was killed and three soldiers were wounded in a clashes with smugglers on Syria-Jordan border in mid-January. One of these soldiers also died later affected by his wounds.

On January 24, the Jordanian army also announced that it had thwarted an attempt to smuggle a large shipment of drugs coming via the Syria border, according to a statement issued by the General Command of the Jordanian Armed Forces “

The statement read: The rules of engagement were applied, leading to smugglers fleeing into Syria.
After inspecting the area, 353,000 Captagon pills, 150 pieces of hashish, 1388 Galica tapes, 86 tramadol tapes and half a kilogram of crystal were found and seized. The seizures were transferred to the competent authorities.

On January 16, SOHR activists reported that villages and areas in the southern countryside of Al-Suwaidaa province at Syria-Jordan border witnessed renewed clashes due to the dramatic increase in drug smuggling to Jordan from Al-Suwaidaa, where drug smugglers were taking advantage of foggy weather to smuggle drugs into Syria that were smuggled by Lebanon’s Hezbollah into other countries around the world with the participation and support of officers of the regime’s army.

While on January 15, SOHR activists reported that violent clashes between Jordanian army border guards and smugglers erupted at the Syria-Jordan border in the southern countryside of Al-Suwidaa and lasted for several hours after the Jordanian army monitored seeing a group of smugglers trying to sneak to Jordan carrying a large cache of drugs.

A Jordanian army officer was killed, and three army personnel injured, Jordanian authorities announced.

The Syrian Observatory has repeatedly warned that Al-Suwaidaa province in southern Syria has become a major hotbed for dealing in and exporting drugs by Hezbollah to Jordan.

On December 11, SOHR published a report stating the following:

Rampant narcotics business tops the events in regime-held areas with illicit pills and “hashish” having become readily available and are sold in public in Damascus, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has addressed this phenomenon in earlier reports.

In south Syria, however, particularly in Al-Suwaidaa, SOHR activists have reported that “hashish” has also become readily available for young men and teenagers in recent time. According to the sources, “hashish” is promoted by drug dealers affiliated with officers in Hezbollah-backed military security service, as the Lebanese Hezbollah seems satisfied with turning Syria into a major hotbed for dealing in and exporting drugs.

Delivering drugs to Al-Suwaidaa

Escorted by guards of military groups of regime security services which are affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah, trucks carrying drugs set off from Baalbek area in Lebanon and head to the barren mountains of Qalamoun then to Al-Suwaidaa province in south Syria region where the drugs are stored in warehouses. These drugs later are smuggled to Jordan or sold in Al-Suwaidaa province which experiences a state of security instability.

Smuggling drugs to Jordan

Sources in Al-Suwaidaa province have informed SOHR that drugs of the Lebanese Hezbollah are being smuggled to Jordan, where such smuggling operations noticeably escalates in winter when smugglers sneak, under a cover of fogs, from Wadi Khazmah area in the southern countryside of Al-Suwaidaa into Jordanian territory with large amounts of drugs.

Drug dealing in Al-Suwaidaa

Drugs are sold publicly throughout Al-Suwaidaa province, as they are available in mini-markets, tobacco stalls and other stalls on main and side streets, as well as by dealers everywhere in the province’s towns.

It is worth noting that a kilo of hashish is sold for 300,000 to 400,000 SYL, equivalent to 110 USD. In Jordan, however, hashish is sold to dealers for 250 USD per kilo.

Jordanian guard forces had frequently clashed with smugglers, while attempting to sneak with hashish from south Syria to Jordan with coordination with Jordanian smugglers. In addition, Jordanian security services have confiscated large amounts of narcotics smuggled from Syria to Jordan. However, SOHR confirms that smuggling of hashish and illicit pills from Syria to Jordan is still in progress.

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, have been all along warned against the disastrous situation in Syria with the Syrian regime adhering only to power, disregarding the sufferings of the Syrian people. The Syrian Observatory would like to point out to the threats posed by the prevalence of drugs across the entire Syrian geography, particularly regime-held areas. We also renew our appeal to the international community not to abandon their responsibility and obligations to finding a lasting solution to the tragedy of millions of Syrians

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