Jordanian army officer killed and 3 personnel injured in shooting along border with Syria
The Asharq Al-Awsat reported that a Jordanian army statement said, an army officer was killed and three army personnel injured on Sunday when drug smugglers trying to enter the country from Syria fired at an army outpost along the border.
The smugglers fled back to Syria, leaving behind a large cache of drugs, the army statement said. "The army will respond with all strength and resolve (against) any infiltration attempt to protect our borders and prevent anyone who dares to violate our national security."
Jordanian officials have voiced increasing alarm at a spike in attempted drug smuggling from Syria over the past year, including large quantities found hidden in Syrian trucks passing through its main border crossing.
Last year the Jordanian army said it shot down a drone flying a large quantity of drugs across the border.
Jordanian officials say Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group and militias who hold sway in southern Syria are behind smuggling of one of the most popular banned drugs, a stimulant known as Captagon.
Hezbollah denies the accusations, calling them fabricated.
UN drug experts say Syria, shattered by a decade-long war, has become the region's main production site for drugs destined for the region and Europe.
Syrian authorities have in recent months announced several major interceptions of drugs destined for Gulf markets and say they are doing their utmost to crack down on widespread production in the country.