World, Middle East

Jordanian soldiers injured in border clashes with militants near Syria

Soldiers injured during operation to thwart smugglers trafficking drugs, rocket, automatic arms

Laith Al-Junaidi  | 18.12.2023 - Update : 18.12.2023
Jordanian soldiers injured in border clashes with militants near Syria FILE PHOTO

AMMAN, Jordan

Jordan announced Monday that several of its soldiers were injured in clashes with drug and arms smugglers trying to cross the border with Syria.

"Since the early hours of Monday morning, there have been armed clashes between the Jordanian Border Guard forces and armed groups on the northern border of the Hashemite Kingdom, within the responsibility area of the Eastern Military Region," the country's army said in an online statement, noting that the smugglers' cargo included illicit drugs, rocket weapons, and automatic firearms.

This operation marks the fifth announced by the Jordanian army in less than a week, with previous incidents resulting in the death of one of its soldiers and the injury of another, as well as the demise of several smugglers.

The statement said that "several injuries occurred among the members of the Jordanian Border Guard forces, and their health conditions range from light to moderate," without specifying the exact number.

It added that the clashes "have so far resulted in the thwarting of the smuggling of large quantities of drugs, automatic weapons, and rocket weapons."

The army further noted that "the armed groups are currently being expelled into Syrian territory."

"The past few days have witnessed an increase in the number of these operations, transforming them from attempts at infiltration and smuggling into armed confrontations, with the aim of forcibly crossing the borders by targeting the Border Guard forces," it said.

Amid continued cross-border smuggling to Syria and Iraq due to deteriorating security conditions in the neighboring countries, Jordanian officials held a security meeting last July with members of the Syrian regime to address the issue.​​​​​​​

*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala in Istanbul

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