Jordanian jets conduct multiple strikes against alleged Iran-linked drug smugglers in Syria

The Jordanian military has intensified its campaign against drug dealers following clashes last month with individuals suspected of ties to pro-Iranian militias. These individuals were reportedly transporting large quantities of drugs, along with weapons and explosives, over the Jordan-Syria border.

Jordanian jets carried out four targeted strikes within Syria, marking the second such raid within a week against suspected farms and hideouts allegedly linked to Iran-backed drug smugglers, according to regional intelligence sources.

The Jordanian military has intensified its campaign against drug dealers following clashes last month with individuals suspected of ties to pro-Iranian militias. These individuals were reportedly transporting large quantities of drugs, along with weapons and explosives, over the Jordan-Syria border.

Authorities in Jordan and their Western allies have attributed the surge in smuggling to Lebanon-based, Iran-backed Hezbollah, and other pro-Iranian militias controlling significant portions of southern Syria. However, both Iran and Hezbollah have vehemently denied these allegations, dismissing them as part of a Western conspiracy against Syria, which itself denies any complicity with Iran-backed militias linked to its security forces.

Sources have confirmed reports from the Syrian news portal Suwayda 24 that the recent strikes targeted leading drug dealers in the towns of Shaab and Arman in the Sweida province near the Jordan-Syria border. The fourth strike reportedly hit a farm near the village of Malah. Last week, Jordan conducted similar strikes in Sweida, where officials suspect much of the cross-border smuggling operations originate.

Civic activist and researcher Ryan Marouf observed that there seems to be a focus on farms suspected of storing drugs before their smuggling across the border, along with the main residences and hideouts of recognized drug dealers. He further added that the recent strikes suggest an escalation by Jordan in its efforts against drug dealers.

While the article mentions unconfirmed reports of three casualties, including a prominent local drug dealer, it highlights Jordan’s commitment to bolstering security with promised U.S. military aid. The United States has already contributed approximately $1 billion to establish border posts since the onset of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

International experts, including U.N. officials and representatives from the U.S. and Europe, have asserted that the illicit drug trade in Syria finances pro-Iranian militias and pro-government paramilitary forces that have emerged during more than a decade of conflict. The war-torn country has become a central hub for a multi-billion-dollar drug trade, with Jordan serving as a crucial transit route to oil-rich Gulf states for a Syrian-manufactured amphetamine known as captagon, according to U.S. and Western anti-narcotics officials.

As military actions intensify, the situation raises concerns about the broader implications for the region, with ongoing disputes and the potential for further destabilization in an already volatile part of the world.