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Jordan’s Air Force Strikes Iranian-Backed Drug Smugglers As Regional Tensions Escalate

In a notable development, Jordan launched air strikes within Syria on Thursday, targeting suspected warehouses and hideouts of Iranian-backed drug smugglers.

Intelligence at Play

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Intelligence sources from Jordan and the region disclosed that the strikes were part of an intensified campaign against drug dealers. The strikes were prompted by protracted clashes last month with infiltrators from Syria linked to pro-Iranian militias.

Jordan Targets Drug Dealer’s Residence and Warehouses in Sweida

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These infiltrators had crossed the Jordanian border, carrying significant quantities of weapons and explosives.

The airstrikes specifically targeted the suspected residence of a prominent drug dealer in the town of Shaab in Sweida province.

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Second Strike

Another strike hit warehouses near the village of Al-Ghariya, both locations situated in the province of Sweida near the Jordanian border.

Smoke Observed From Border

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Ryan Marouf, editor of Suwayda 24, a Syrian news website closely monitoring the drug war, reported observing a plume of smoke rising from the border area soon after the strikes.

Syrian News Editors Report

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“The first strike targeted a leading drug dealer linked to Iranian militias, and the other raid bombed a farm where drugs are stored,” Marouf explained, shedding light on the specific targets of the airstrikes.

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Jordan’s Allegations Against Hezbollah and Pro-Iranian Militias

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Jordanian officials, echoing sentiments expressed by their Western allies, allege that Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group and other pro-Iranian militias controlling much of southern Syria are responsible for a surge in drug and weapons smuggling.

Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria Respond to Jordan’s Allegations

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However, Iran and Hezbollah dismiss these accusations as part of Western plots against their countries, and Syria denies complicity with Iranian-backed militias linked to its army and security forces.

Jordan To Get Additional US Aid

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Jordan, seeking to enhance border security, has been promised additional U.S. military aid. The United States has already provided approximately $1 billion to establish border posts since the onset of the Syrian conflict in 2011, according to Jordanian officials.

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Funding Militias

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The illicit drug trade, as highlighted by U.N. experts and U.S. and European officials, is seen as a key source of funding for pro-Iranian militias and pro-government paramilitary forces that have proliferated during over a decade of conflict in Syria. Despite the denials from Iran and its allies, the strategic importance of the region and the impact of the drug trade on regional stability remain critical concerns.

Syria’s Dark Trade

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War-torn Syria has emerged as the primary hub for a multi-billion-dollar drug trade in the region, with Jordan serving as a crucial transit route to the oil-rich Gulf states for a Syrian-produced amphetamine known as captagon, according to Western anti-narcotics officials and Washington.

Jordan’s Struggle Against Drug Smuggling and Militia Ties

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The escalation of Jordan’s efforts to combat drug smuggling and its associated ties to Iranian-backed militias reflects the complex challenges faced by the country in navigating regional dynamics and maintaining stability along its borders.

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