Airstrikes target smugglers' hideouts at Syrian borders


Published: 2024-01-09 17:08

Last Updated: 2024-04-19 05:56

Airstrikes target smugglers' hideouts at Syrian borders
Airstrikes target smugglers' hideouts at Syrian borders

Targeting arms dealers and drug traffickers along the Syrian border, warplanes that were reportedly Jordanian, conducted multiple airstrikes on sites in the province of Al-Suwayda in southern Syria.

In the second attack of its kind within a week, the airstrikes targeted smugglers' hideouts at several locations in the southern province near the Jordanian border, west of Daraa city.

No official statement has been issued by the Jordanian army regarding these airstrikes, meanwhile Syrian media outlets are speculating about the Jordanian involvement in these operations.

Syrian media reported that the airstrikes targeted four sites; a site in the town of Arman, a farm near the town of Malah, and two locations north and south of the village of al-Shaab, managed by drug dealers. 

Sources revealed the death of Isam Khair, classified as one of the dangerous drug traffickers, after his residence was targeted by an airstrike east of the town of Malah.

Additionally, Atallah Al-Ramathan was announced dead in an airstrike that targeted his house in the village of Al-Shaab.

Al-Suwayda, one of the southeastern provinces of Syria, is bordered by Rif Dimashq to the north, Daraa to the west, the Syrian Badia, and Al-Safa to the east.

The province is inhabited mostly by the Druze community, with a small community of refugees coming from Daraa as well.

Escalation of clashes

The clashes have escalated for months along the border areas with drug dealers and smugglers, who have been using advanced means and tools to carry out their operations against the Kingdom, according to the Arab Army.

In response to this, the armed forces modified the rules of engagement on Jan. 17, 2022, to pursue all elements seeking to undermine national security within Syrian territories.

Rules of engagement are defined as the rules that the army adheres to in the use of force during any military operation. Armies establish these rules to defend the homeland, protect lives, assist people in danger, or respond to external aggression.

Following extensive operations carried out by drug traffickers against the Kingdom, wide-ranging and continuous clashes have occurred in the past few days. These clashes resulted in the killing of several smugglers and the arrest of others, in addition to the seizure of large quantities of various types of drugs.

Methods of smugglers

A source disclosed to Roya the strategies and tactics utilized by traffickers to traverse the Jordanian border and transport narcotics to their associates inside, aiming to successfully carry out the smuggling operation to Saudi Arabia or distribute them within the Jordanian market.

The source stated that the fog in border areas obscures visibility almost entirely, making it difficult to detect smugglers along the border areas. Thus, traffickers are revealed through thermal cameras.

"Smugglers infiltrate within groups of more than 20 people most of the time, accompanied by several armed individuals to protect them. The rest carry the smuggled drug quantities on their shoulders," according to the source close to the conflict zone.

The source added that traffickers melt amphetamine pills inside water bottles and drink from them throughout the journey to be able to carry these weights for long distances.

Among the methods of infiltration is placing "rugs" on parts of the border checkpoint between Jordan and Syria, allowing them to jump without being exposed to harm.

Drug traffickers also attempt to dig tunnels between the border areas to cross into Jordan, according to advanced aircraft surveillance by the armed forces.

Traffickers try to use earth barriers in border areas, driving their vehicles at high speeds to jump over the border separator and cross into Jordanian territory.