Suspected Jordanian airstrikes on southern Syria have left at least 10 people dead, including children, as reported by local Syrian media and conflict monitors. The strikes occurred early on Thursday, with Jordanian authorities yet to provide an immediate comment on the situation.
According to local outlet Sham F.M., the airstrikes targeted two homes in the town of Arman in the southern province of Suwayda, resulting in the loss of lives. Simultaneous strikes, as reported by Suwayda24, hit the residential quarter of Arman in the province’s southeast, near the Jordanian border. The strikes claimed the lives of 10 civilians, including two children, five women, and three men. However, the identity of the responsible airstrikes was not explicitly confirmed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor tracking Syria’s conflicts, reported at least nine casualties resulting from the Jordanian airstrikes on Suwayda, including two children. The lack of clarity surrounding the circumstances and motivations behind these airstrikes has raised concerns in the region.
Jordan’s military has intensified its campaign against drug dealers in recent weeks. This follows clashes last month with individuals suspected of having connections to pro-Iranian militias involved in smuggling narcotics, weapons, and explosives across the border from Syria. While these anti-drug efforts have been a focal point for Jordan, the alleged airstrikes have added a new dimension to the situation.
The surge in smuggling activities has been attributed by Jordan and its Western allies to Lebanon-based, Iran-backed Hezbollah, and other pro-Iranian groups controlling significant portions of southern Syria. The tensions surrounding these allegations have heightened regional complexities, with Iran and Hezbollah dismissing them as part of a Western plot against Syria. Syria itself has vehemently denied any involvement in drug production and smuggling.
The war-ravaged Middle Eastern country has become a focal point for a multi-billion-dollar drug trade, with Jordan serving as a crucial transit route to oil-rich Gulf states for a Syrian-made amphetamine known as captagon. U.S. and Western anti-narcotics officials have highlighted the severity of the issue, placing the region at the centre of efforts to combat drug trafficking.