Syria says there is “no justification” for Jordan airstrikes

Syria said on January 23 that there was no reasonable justification for Jordanian airstrikes on its soil, according to Reuters. 

Jordan, a US ally, has ramped up its combat against drugs and weapon smugglers who have long caused a threat to national security. It has been found that numerous traffickers were members of Iran-backed militias. 

Hezbollah and other groups like it, who have a tight grip of various parts of southern Syria, are reportedly behind the rise in drug and arms smuggling. 

In response to a deadly strike from its neighbours on January 18, the Damascus-based Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “The escalation that we have witnessed in the past few months is not at all consistent with what was agreed upon from both sides.” 

The recent attack targeted warehouses and general bases of Iran-backed groups based in Syria’s south Jordanian officials said. Despite the country saying civilians aren’t being targeted, around 10 civilians, some of whom were children, were killed. 

Jordanian officials stressed that civilians were not in their sights and that the strikes only came after multiple warnings in meetings with their Syrian counterparts. 

READ: Russia slams “provocative” Israeli airstrikes on Damascus

Notably last year, The US and the European Union foisted sanctions on senior officials associated with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad for alleged involvement in the illegal trading of captagon. The President’s government has denied all allegations of trafficking the drug. 

Largely considered as a psychostimulant, captagon is largely produced in Syria and the country is in fact the largest producer of the substance, accounting for 80% of the global supply. 

Experts have noted that Iran-backed groups in Syria are using the drug war as a means of ramping up pressure on its neighbours. 

The militias have on multiple occasions targeted US forces based in Syria and Iraq as a way of saying they are not welcome in the region as well as due to Washington’s support for Israel amidst its pummeling of Gaza. 

As of January 25, the death toll in the enclave stands at 26,000 and there seems to be no end to the bloodshed, worse still: many are fearing the conflict could spread on a regional level.   

Reuters/ BBC News 

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