Russia, Jordan meet to combat drug trafficking from southern Syria
Despite improving relations between Syria and Jordan, drug trafficking from southern Syria into Jordan has increased significantly in recent months
By News Desk - January 12 2023

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi

On 12 January, the foreign ministers of Jordan and Russia met in Amman to discuss methods to combat the smuggling of drugs out of southern Syria, the main drug trafficking hub in the region.

The Russian President’s Special Envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, reaffirmed his nation’s willingness to collaborate with Jordan to address the issues in southern Syria, particularly in regard to drug smuggling and initiatives to improve stability.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ayman Safadi, said the absence of stability in southern Syria, drug trafficking, terrorism, and militias in the region, pose challenges to Jordan. He said the kingdom is taking all necessary steps to combat these threats, according to the Middle East Monitor.

Jordan’s top priority, he continued, is to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people, eradicates terrorism, protects Syria’s territorial integrity and unity, restores security, and creates the conditions for the refugees to return voluntarily in accordance with UN Resolution 2254.

Safadi also applauded the UN Security Council’s passage of Resolution 2672, which permits the delivery of UN aid into Turkish-occupied Syria across international borders, enabling the provision of humanitarian aid to more than 4.1 million Syrian residents.

Jordan has recently suffered from drug trafficking, primarily hashish and the stimulant drug known as Captagon, from southern Syria.

On 29 June 2022, the interior ministry announced that Syria’s counter-narcotics division seized a record haul of 2.3 tons of Captagon.

The ministry said that the confiscated bags amounted to 2,103 kilos and that 10 arrests had been made as well as the confiscation of several vehicles.

Several media reports accused senior members of President Bashar al-Assad’s administration of being complicit in the booming Captagon sales in the region.

In response to the allegations, the Syrian interior ministry released an anti-drug video that shows military squads raiding a deserted farm and finding stacks of pills.

The drug remains popular in the region, where its fear-inhibiting and stimulating effects have proved helpful during active firefights. Their biggest consumers are allegedly members of ISIS.

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