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Jordan Reportedly Conducts Airstrike in Southern Syria

8 May 2023 21:34

Islam Times - Jordan has reportedly carried out an air strike in southern Syria to kill a prominent drug smuggler and his family, according to a war monitor.

The UK-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights attributed the strike to Jordan, but there has been no immediate confirmation from Amman.

The drug dealer, Marai al-Ramthan, his wife, and six children were killed in the eastern countryside of Syria’s Sweida province, near the Syrian-Jordanian border, according to the monitor. The Observatory says that al-Ramthan was “considered to be the most prominent drug trafficker in the region, and the number one smuggler of drugs, including Captagon, into Jordan” from that area.

Jordan has yet to comment on the strike. The attack occurred after a May 1 meeting in Amman with several Arab foreign ministers during which Damascus had agreed to cooperate with neighboring countries “affected by drug trafficking and smuggling across the Syrian border.”

According to a statement from Jordan’s foreign ministry, Damascus said it would cooperate with Jordan and Iraq to identify sources of drug production and smuggling on its borders with the two countries, and it would seek to “take necessary steps to end smuggling operations.”

On Sunday, the Arab League welcomed Syria back into the bloc after a more than decade-long suspension. The main destinations for the $10 billion Captagon industry are oil-rich Persian Gulf countries, but Jordan has also become a transit route for the Captagon trade.

Jordan’s army warned of a shoot-to-kill policy against drug traffickers last year, and in February 2022, it said that it had killed 30 smugglers since the start of the year and foiled attempts to smuggle 16 million Captagon pills into the kingdom from Syria. Jordan has launched previous strikes targeting drug smugglers in Syria, some dating back to 2014.

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