| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Jordan army says guards injured, weapons seized in clashes along Syrian border

 Jordan’s army on Monday said it had seized weapons and drugs after clashes with armed drug dealers along the Syrian border at dawn, and officials said the gunmen were linked to pro-Iranian militias seeking to undermine the country’s security.

The army said the infiltrators had fled back across the border after injuring several army personnel. The weapons seized included automatic rifles and rockets, it added in a statement.

Jordanian officials, like their Western allies, say that Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group and militias who control much of southern Syria are behind the surge in drug and weapons smuggling.

Hezbollah denies the accusations. Iran says the allegations are part of Western plots against the country.

“The last few days have seen a spike in these operations that are changing from infiltration attempts and smuggling to armed clashes with the goal of crossing the border by force and targeting border guards,” the army said in a statement.

The army said it would “continue to track these armed groups and prevent any attempt to undermine the kingdom’s national security”.

U.N. experts and U.S. officials say the illicit drug trade finances a proliferation of pro-Iranian militias and pro-government paramilitary forces created by more than a decade of conflict in Syria.

  • Reuters