Ten activists killed by suspected Jordanian airstrikes in southern Syria


Local activists and media are saying that at least 10 people, including children, were killed in air strikes in south-western Syria that were likely done by Jordan.

Many houses were said to be ruined in Arman, a town in Suweida province, around 20km (12 miles) away from the border.

Jordan authorities did not respond right away.

The military has likely bombed certain areas in Syria to attack people who are thought to be smuggling drugs.

Jordan and its friends in the West say that well-organized and heavily armed militias supported by Iran are causing a rise in smuggling into Jordan. This is happening in areas of Syria that are controlled by the government. They are especially smuggling a drug called Captagon, which is in high demand in the Gulf Arab states.

The Suwayda 24 news website, run by activists, said that there were air strikes in residential areas of Arman and nearby Malah early on Thursday.

It was reported that witnesses said two men named Omar Talab and Turki al-Halabi had their houses damaged and destroyed in Arman.

Mr Talab, his mom, and his aunt died. Also, seven of Mr. Halabi’s family members including his wife and two little girls were killed, according to witnesses. Halabi and his mother were stuck under their collapsed house and people thought they were dead.

Suwayda 24 shared a video of people looking for victims in one place. The local fire department found Mr. Halabi’s body and is also searching for another person.

A group in the UK called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that nine people died in the Arman strikes. This included five women and two children. Another woman was stuck under the rubble and couldn’t get out.

The Observatory criticized the “massacre” in Arman and mentioned that Jordanian warplanes had trespassed into Syrian territory for the third time this year.

The attacks also hit a damaged warehouse and a house in Malah, but no one was hurt.

On January 8th, news sources reported that three people died in two different attacks. One attack hit a house and a farm in the town of Shaab, while the other hit a barn in Arman.

The next day after the strike, an editor named Ryan Marouf told Reuters news agency that it looks like Jordan is increasing its fight against drug dealers.

He said that Jordanian forces are focusing on finding and stopping drugs from being smuggled across the border. They are targeting farms where drugs may be stored and the homes and hideouts of drug dealers.

On January 6, the Jordanian army said they had killed five people in a fight with armed smugglers trying to come into Jordan from Syria.


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