Jordan says 27 drug smugglers were killed on the border with Syria

Amman-Jordanian soldiers killed 27 armed smugglers on Thursday as they attempted to cross the border from Syria during a dawn storm with heavy amphetamines, military spokesmen said.

Others with drugs also fled to Syria during the crossing attempt. This is one such incident that has increased over the past year, many of which are related to firefighting, and the military has tightened rules of engagement with smugglers.

The military said in a statement that some other smugglers “backed by other armed groups” were injured.

It did not identify where the invasion took place along the border.

Many smugglers have supported Jordan’s major border crossing to the Gulf region, where the military discovered amphetamine, a drug hidden in Syrian trucks, most commonly known as captagon.

Jordanian officials say the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon and the militias that control much of southern Syria are behind the surge in smuggling and are supporting the activities of smugglers. Hezbollah has denied the accusation.

Jordanian officials have expressed concern over Syrian authorities and Russia, the main ally of President Bashar al-Assad, who has military police stationed in southern Syria.

Syrian officials have announced several major interceptions of drugs for the Gulf market in recent months, saying they are cracking down on domestic production of Captagon.

Syria, destroyed in a decade of civil war, has become a major producer of drugs for Jordan, Iraq and Europe, according to UN drug experts.