A Jordanian soldier is killed in a clash with drug smugglers along the border with Syria #Jordanian #soldier #killed #clash #drug #smugglers #border #Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Jordanian troops clashed Tuesday with dozens of drug smugglers along the country’s northern border with Syria, leaving several dead including one soldier while another was wounded, the army said.

The smugglers were trying to bring into Jordan “large amounts of drugs” while taking advantage of fog and low visibility, a statement by the Jordanian Armed Forces said. It said some of them were killed and the others fled.

Smugglers have used Jordan over the past years to send highly addictive Captagon amphetamines out of Syria, mainly to oil-rich Arab Gulf states. Jordanian authorities have aborted attempts over the past months, including some in which smugglers used drones to fly the drugs over the border.

The Captagon industry has been a huge concern for Jordan, as well as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, as hundreds of millions of pills have been smuggled over the years. The drug is used recreationally and by people with physically demanding jobs to keep them alert.

Captagon production have turned into an estimated multi-billion-dollar industry in war-torn Syria.

Ahmad al-Masalmeh, a Syrian opposition activist who covers developments in southern Syria, said the clash occurred in a desert area known as Sheab along the Jordanian border.

In late August, an airstrike hit an alleged drug factory in southern Syria near the Jordanian border, an attack believed to have been carried out by Jordan’s air force.

In May, an airstrike over a village in Syria’s southern province of Sweida killed a well-known Syrian drug kingpin and his family, which activists believe was conducted by the Jordanians.

Jordan never claimed responsibility for the strikes in Syria.

The United States, the United Kingdom and Western governments have accused Syrian President Bashar Assad and his cash-strapped government of taking the lead in Captagon production, and have sanctioned relatives of Assad, Lebanese drug lynchpins, businessmen and other associates in Syria for their involvement in the industry.

#Jordanian #soldier #killed #clash #drug #smugglers #border #Syria

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