Jordanian army kills 27 drug smugglers at Syrian border


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SULAIMANI — The Jordanian military said their soldiers killed at least 27 drug smugglers, who were armed, on Thursday (January 27) while the smugglers were crossing the border with Syria, Reuters reported.

There were at least 80 smugglers involved in the cross-border operation and about 50 are missing and believed dead, according to a Syrian source cited by Reuters.

The smugglers were carrying a large amount of amphetamines, according to the Jordanian army. 

A Jordanian officer was killed in a shoot-out with smugglers earlier this month.

An investigation by the New York Times in December revealed an elite unit of the Syrian army was managing the production and distribution of captagon, an addictive amphetamine popular in the Middle East.

Businessmen with ties to the Syrian government, family members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah were all involved in the trade, according to information the Times said it obtained from drug experts.

Jordan has blamed Hezbollah for the spike in drug smuggling, a charge the Iran-backed group denies.

Authorities in Syria said they were cracking down on the manufacture of captagon in the country, according to Reuters.

(NRT Digital Media)