Jordanian soldier killed in clash with drug smugglers along Syria border

Fake oranges filled with illegal Captagon pills at the Beirut port in Lebanon, on December 29, 2021. (Anwar Amro/AFP)
Fake oranges filled with illegal Captagon pills at the Beirut port in Lebanon, on December 29, 2021. (Anwar Amro/AFP)

Jordanian troops clash with dozens of drug smugglers along the country’s northern border with Syria, leaving several dead including one soldier while another was wounded, the army says.

The smugglers were trying to bring into Jordan “large amounts of drugs” while taking advantage of fog and low visibility, a statement by the Jordanian Armed Forces says. It says some of them were killed and the others fled.

Smugglers have used Jordan over the past years to send highly addictive Captagon amphetamines out of Syria, mainly to oil-rich Arab Gulf states. Jordanian authorities have aborted attempts over the past months, including some in which smugglers used drones to fly the drugs over the border.

The Captagon industry has been a huge concern for Jordan, as well as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, as hundreds of millions of pills have been smuggled over the years. The drug is used recreationally and by people with physically demanding jobs to keep them alert.

Captagon production has turned into an estimated multi-billion-dollar industry in war-torn Syria.

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