At Least 9 Killed In Suspected Jordanian Airstrikes On Syria
January 18, 2024 | Tags: ZEROHEDGEAt Least 9 Killed In Suspected Jordanian Airstrikes On Syria
Airstrikes, believed to have been carried out by the Jordanian air force, have killed at least nine civilians in the southern Syrian city of Suwayda on Thursday.
"Jordanian warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting residential areas and a warehouse in the southeastern province of Suwayda, killing at least nine people, including two girls and four women," the opposition-linked war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has reported.
"The death toll is likely to increase due to people [trapped] under the rubble and information about other victims, in addition to massive destruction to houses" in the area, SOHR added.
Local news outlet Suwayda24 said the strikes were likely carried out by Amman, and killed at least ten.
SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman said that Jordan regularly attacks Syria under the "pretext of combatting drug smuggling." He said in this case that it remained unclear whether or not those killed in the strikes were involved in the drug trade.
However, Rayan Maarouf from the Suwayda24 news website said that the casualties were likely drug traffickers. On January 5, Amman confirmed via state media that its air force had launched two air raids on Syria while "in pursuit" of drug smugglers.
Alleged Jordanian airstrikes reportedly killed a number of civilians in Syria on December 18. On the same day, a Jordanian army statement said that a smuggling operation on their northern border with Syria had been foiled, but officials denied that any airstrikes had taken place at the time.
In May 2023, the Jordanian Army conducted an airstrike in southern Syria that allegedly led to the killing of a well-known Syrian drug trafficker, Marai al-Ramthan, along with his wife and children.
Drug smuggling has surged on the Syrian-Jordanian border, despite a recent boost in border security measures between Amman and Damascus.
Jordan has accused the Syrian state of taking the drug smuggling threat lightly. Narcotics, quite commonly Captagon amphetamine pills, are smuggled into Jordan via Syria regularly.
#شاهد: آثار الدمار في المنازل إثر الضربات الجوية التي استهدفت بلدة عرمان جنوب شرقي السويداء، وتسببت بمجزرة راح ضحيتها 10 أشخاص، غالبيتهم نساء وأطفال.— السويداء 24 (@suwayda24) January 18, 2024
تفاصيل 👇👇https://t.co/uHlURuPFrf pic.twitter.com/UhK26VBhOE
The drug trade, among other political issues, has resulted in tensions in the already turbulent Syrian governorate of Deraa, which lies in close proximity to the Jordanian border.
The Minister of Government Communications in Jordan and spokesman for the Council of Ministers, Muhannad Mubaydeen, said on December 19 that Amman is interested in further coordination with Damascus to combat the drug smuggling problem.
On Wednesday, Suwayda-based Syrian Druze leader Hikmat al-Hijri expressed support for Jordanian efforts to combat smuggling, but called on Amman to avoid harming civilians.