In the last two days, the Jordanian-Syrian border has experienced heightened tensions due to escalating clashes between the Jordanian army and armed groups involved in drug trafficking, as reported by the Jordanian military.
The Jordanian army, citing an official military source from the General Command of the Armed Forces, stated that armed confrontations between the Jordanian border guard forces and significant armed smuggler groups began on Saturday in the northern border area with Syria. The clashes resulted in five fatalities, 15 arrests, and one injury, according to the Jordanian agency Petra.
On January 5th, the Jordanian army conducted airstrikes in the Suweida governorate, targeting drug manufacturing facilities, as reported by Reuters citing its sources.
These military actions followed the announcement by the Jordanian army of plans to reinforce border security with the implementation of an electronic fence and an upgraded surveillance system. General Youssef Hunaitan, Chairman of the Jordanian Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized the need to enhance surveillance to counter infiltration and smuggling, especially during adverse weather conditions such as dense fog and sandstorms.
Muhannad Mubaydeen, Minister of Government Communication and spokesperson for the Jordanian government underscored that drug-smuggling groups pose a serious threat to Jordan’s security. He called for the development of a regional strategy to combat drug-related challenges, emphasizing the prolonged nature of the conflict with these groups.
Syrian political analyst Kamal al-Jafa explained the challenges faced by the Syrian government in maintaining control over its territory, citing the influence of multiple factions and the prolonged war. Jafa highlighted the existence of areas where state control has weakened, allowing various military forces to retain power and control over significant border areas.
The recent Jordanian military operations along the Syrian border align with the outcomes of the Amman meeting held in May, involving the foreign ministers of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. The meeting emphasized three key priorities: protecting the common border, combating drug trafficking, and facilitating the return of Syrian refugees in exchange for supporting infrastructure development and contributing to the reconstruction process in Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.